Black Lives Matter Wants Police Out Of Cincinnati Schools

Dec 29, 2015

Demonstrators raise their fists as a show of solidarity outside the Cincinnati Police District One headquarters.
Credit Bill Rinehart / WVXU

Update Wednesday 1:30 p.m.:  

A spokeswoman for Cincinnati Public Schools says they have not seen a proposal from the local Black Lives Matter movement and could not comment. Janet Walsh says such a proposal may be an opportunity for the district and Cincinnati Police to have a conversation with BLM to “build their understanding” about the partnership between CPS and police.

Original post: Members of the local Black Lives Matter movement demonstrated in Over-the-Rhine Tuesday night. They were protesting Monday’s grand jury decision not to indict two Cleveland police officers in the shooting death of 12-year-old Tamir Rice

But organizers have their eyes on another issue closer to home. Group member Brian Taylor says they want to remove police officers from Cincinnati Public Schools.

“It used to be if there were some kind of altercation or somebody mouthed off to a teacher, or there was a bad situation, an internal administrator would deal with it," says Taylor. "Parents would be called and it would be dealt with on that level. But what happens now, and especially in places were the police are, is the police immediately arrest that person or do something that gets them in the system, whether they go to '2020' or they’re arrested and possibly treated as adults,” Taylor says. (The Hamilton County Juvenile Court’s Youth Center is known colloquially as '2020' because of its street address.)

Taylor says that contributes to the so-called school-to-prison pipeline for minority youth. 

Taylor says individuals may not be racist, but institutions reinforce inequality “and continue to provide a certain perception of what people of color are that fosters the kind of conditions that leads to police shootings in two seconds.”

He says the Black Lives Matter movement is still working on the details of the proposal.

At the end of Tuesday night’s demonstration, organizers collected toys for a local charity. Taylor says they have not decided on a recipient yet.