TOLEDO, Ohio — Toledo police chief George Kral briefly joined protesters Monday night, as demonstrations have continued for days across the country following the officer-involved death of George Floyd in Minneapolis.
Kral joined the march in plain clothes as the group moved down Hill Avenue and Reynolds Road chanting "black lives matter."
This particular protest was organized by local activist Sir Maejor Page, who said that he was glad Kral denounced the other officers. However, he said, the question is: what policies can be enacted locally to prevent something like the incident in Minneapolis from happening?
Kral, alongside Toledo Mayor Wade Kapszukiewicz, did address Toledoans on Monday afternoon in regard to Saturday's protest in downtown that turned violent.
While Kapszukiewicz said he believed Toledo did "pretty well" in comparison to the level of violence seen in other areas, he said he received reports of police misconduct. He then asked citizens to help city leaders understand what unfolded, as tensions began to rise only an hour after the protest had begun.
If you have concerns from Saturday, send an e-mail to TPDconcerns@toledo.oh.gov. Residents can also go to the Engage Toledo app to share what they saw.
Additionally, a number of new measures were announced:
- The police department's internal affairs bureau will be moved out of the safety building into a neutral, non-threatening area, the mayor said, in order to help encourage conversation and trust in the community.
- The police de-escalation and diversity training methods will be made available and public to groups who will visit the police academy to observe.
- Police classrooms will be made public via streaming technology so the public can watch as de-escalation and diversity training is completed.
- The city will immediately make available the results of the community survey that asks the community what they think of their police department. The results are from 2017-18. A new survey is due, Kapszukiewicz said.
- The bias-free policing review will be made public for their review.
- The entire TPD manual will also be made public on the city's website so they can see what the rules are, what's expected of residents and what's expected of police. On page 39, they can view the "continuum of force," which are the guidelines officers follow from verbal command to arrest.
- The Civilian Police Review Board has members whose terms are expiring soon. The mayor is asking for people who are moved by the weekend's events to apply to be members of the review board.