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Crime and Courts


Akron mayor wants the FBI to review all police shootings
Mayor Plusquellic believes a federal investigation would help quell public distrust of internal reviews in the tense times after police shootings

by WKSU's KEVIN NIEDERMIER


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Kevin Niedermier
 
Akron Mayor Plusquellic's request for FBI reviews sprang from a 2008 shooting here and predated the trouble in Ferguson, Mo.
Courtesy of WKSU file photo
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Akron Mayor Don Plusquellic is pushing for a pilot program giving the FBI the power to investigate all police shootings.  As WKSU’s Kevin Niedermier reports, the proposal was formulated before recent police shooting unrest in Missouri.

 

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The FBI investigates police shootings if there are allegations of civil-rights violations, as is the case in the Ferguson, Mo., case.

Even before that shooting, Mayor Plusquellic asked the federal government to extend FBI involvement to any police shooting where an outside review could defuse public suspicion. Akron Police Chief James Nice supports the mayor’s plan, but says would not be necessary in shootings where an armed suspect is wounded.

“The mayor put it in his letter and used the term “sensitive matters.” So, if it were me, I’d have it 'at a request,' and they would have the jurisdiction. We request the FBI in public corruption matters and things like that.”

Nice says the FBI proposal has been under consideration since a 2008 Akron police shooting. Public unrest followed an internal investigation that ruled the shooting justified, as did a subsequent U.S. Department of Justice investigation. But the public was more accepting of the outside review. The FBI says it’s not within its jurisdiction to investigate shootings that don’t involve civil-rights concerns.                                                                                               

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