Lima officers used unnecessary force on Ms. Secession, a nine-month pregnant woman. This is the second incident that Lima officers have used unnecessary force on a pregnant woman. Mayor Berger gave comments in this incident, but failed to do so in the first incident. NAACP believes Berger is politicizing this incident with Ms. Secession as a ploy for campaign purposes. Perhaps if he would have demonstrated proper leadership in the first incident, this incident wouldn’t be a topic of discussion.
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 false reports were written by officers. Those same reports were contrary to video evidence provided by citizens. Consistently, Martin and Berger have made excuses for not having body cameras to date. It’s more feasible to allocate funds to purchase body cameras than to unnecessary administrative salaries.
The cities of Wapakoneta and Celina have body cameras for their officers. These cities are aware of the importance of having their officers fully equipped to provide adequate video evidence. This NAACP unit was called to view a body camera video in Celina. NAACP found that the officers in that case were justified in following appropriate procedures.
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.
Oliver Lee, Lima NAACP
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