Forum discusses race, police misconduct

Civil Rights Attorney Alphones A. Gerhardstein led a discussion Jan. 20 in the Otto Budig Theater concerning police misconduct in Cincinnati.

Gerhardstein focused on the Collaborative Agreement and whether it has fulfilled its goal in minimizing police misconduct by implementing stricter guidelines for Cincinnati police.

“With good training comes good skills, but when [police] exhaust all these options, you must use force,” he said.

The discussion touched on various issues of concern within the African American community as well as those belonging to the family members of the police.

Gerhardstein emphasized the need for change as well as the proceedings of the Collaborative Agreement, which is directed towards the racially biased policing by the Cincinnati Police Department as seen by the African American community.

“Its really very few officers that are bad guys,” Gerhardstein said.

But with recent cases of police misconduct, including the struggle between Nathaniel Jones and the Cincinnati Police, this comment is hard for some to believe.

Gerhardstein said that proper training would lead to better critical thinking and handling of situations. He also said that as misconduct is corrected, good conduct should be rewarded.

John Roberts, a third-year student at the Chase College of Law, expressed his concerns after attending.

“The media is quick to defend the city,” Roberts said, adding that he has always believed the media does not display events in their entirety, though he felt Gerhardstein did.

“The discussion was very necessary,” Roberts said. “It has been two years since the Collaborative Agreement has been implemented, and it was good to find out what progress has been made, as well as what they are working towards.”

Gerhardstein has been an advocate towards the correction of discrimination and misconduct for over 25 years.

The Chase Public Interest Group, a student organization within the Chase College of Law, sponsored the forum.