February 17, 2018

Progressive politics update: Kucinich

Democratic gubernatorial candidate Dennis Kucinich rolled out a criminal justice plan. The former congressman and Cleveland mayor says it’s targeted at “ending private for-profit prisons in Ohio, stopping the warehousing of non-violent offenders, reforming the bail system, attacking the opioid epidemic and drug addiction in general, improving training for law enforcement personnel, establishing better police-community relations, and taking serious legal action against any public officials guilty of abuses of power in the performance of their jobs.”

“The criminal justice system, in Ohio as well as nationally, has a shameful record of disproportionately targeting, prosecuting, jailing, and otherwise discriminating against the African American and Latino communities,” Kucinich said in prepared remarks. “Arrest, conviction, and incarcerations statistics are clear and incontrovertible evidence of that fact.”

Kucinich said laws are needed “that prohibit those with mental health issues that make them a danger to themselves or others from owning a gun. No one with weapons under disability charges, a conviction of a violent felony, or a mental health issue presenting a danger should have access to weapons.”

He said his administration would support the right of local communities to enact laws about local gun bans. “For example, Cleveland attempted to ban assault weapons years ago and should have been supported, not opposed by the state.”

Kucinich wants to standardize probes of possible law enforcement misconduct. “The conduct of each and every law enforcement official shall be subject to a transparent process of public review in the event of unnecessary aggression, brutality, or the possibility or suspicion of wrongful death,” he said.

Kucinich called for demilitarization of police: “No military equipment or ordnance used by the U.S. Department of Defense shall be used for purposes of law enforcement or crowd control anywhere in the state of Ohio.”

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