LIMA — The Lima chapter of the NAACP on Saturday echoed the Black Ministerial Alliance’s call for the Lima Police Department to use body cameras.
The civil rights organization held a news conference at Grace Worldwide Ministries to express its concerns over an incident, shown on cellphone video that black leaders said showed a pregnant woman being pushed to the ground on Friday by a Lima police officer.
NAACP local President Ronald Fails pointed out that these body cameras are already being used in other nearby communities.
“The cities of Wapakoneta and Celina have body cameras for their officers. These communities are smaller than Lima, but they are aware of the importance of having their officers fully equipped to provide adequate video evidence. This NAACP unit was called in to view a body camera video in Celina. NAACP found that the officers in that case were justified in following appropriate procedures,” Fails said.
“Finances used for unnecessary administrative salaries could have been allocated to purchase body cameras by now for Lima officers. In the past, the city has paid financial restitution to victims at the hands of the Lima Police Department. These restitutions create a financial strain on the city, which could be avoided if the department holds its officers accountable. The immediate purchase of body cameras for Lima officers is a common-sense action, beneficial for the protection of citizens and officers,” Fails said.
The pregnant woman who said she was pushed to the by police officers, Kenyatta Secession, has filed a formal complaint with the NAACP.
“This is the second incident that Lima officers have used unnecessary force on a pregnant woman,” he said. “NAACP is demanding that an independent investigator investigate this incident instead of the Lima Police Department. Unfailingly, Chief Martin investigates his own department without finding his officers at fault even when proven they have written false reports, which were contrary to video evidence.”
Reach Sam Shriver at 567-242-0409.