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WATCH: 3News' Mark Naymik moderates discussion at The City Club of Cleveland about Issue 24

The veteran reporter guided a conversation between community leaders and activists on both sides of the debate.
Credit: Dan Moulthrop, The City Club of Cleveland

CLEVELAND — On Friday, 3News' Mark Naymik took part in a conversation regarding what has become the prime point of contention in Cleveland's race for mayor: Issue 24.

The proposal, which appears on the same election ballot as mayoral candidates Justin Bibb and Kevin Kelley, would amend the city's charter by shifting oversight and discipline in the division of police to a civilian-led review board. Bibb supports the measure, while Kelley is against it.

At The City Club of Cleveland this afternoon, Naymik moderated a discussion between community leaders and activists on both sides of the debate, with the veteran reporter saying the forum was "about policy, not politics." Those taking part included:

  • Subodh Chandra, founder and managing partner of the Chandra Law Firm who is also the principal drafter of Issue 24
  • Barbara Langhenry, Cleveland's current and longest serving law director
  • Prentiss Haney of Ohio, co-executive director at the Ohio Organizing Collaborative
  • Capt. Johnny E. Hamm of the Cleveland Division of Police

You can watch their full dialogue in the player below:

Chandra has previously publicly advocated for Issue 24's passage, saying "certain voices have been cut out" in the debate over police brutality and reform. Bibb has acknowledged what he sees as the proposal's flaws, but still sees it as a step forward.

"The way we've been doing things in the city for far too long is not working," he said, "and I'm not going to be someone that undermines democracy in the city."

However, critics of the issue — including Cleveland's current police chief and law director — claim it would "gut" the current citizen review board established by a federal consent decree. Kelley, who has served as City Council President since 2014, believes it would also further complicate management of the police department.

"Giving an unelected board authority over discipline over the final word on discipline, giving an unelected board the authority to recommend commanders and to recommend approved policies and procedures would further dampen morale, which is already struggling," he said. "It would make it a lot harder to get police officers to apply to work for the city of Cleveland."

Clevelanders will decide on both Issue 24 and the mayor's race on Nov. 2.