Court seeks comment on releasing grand jury transcripts in police shootings

From The Columbus Dispatch

A proposed change in Ohio court rules to allow now-secret grand jury transcripts to be released to the public — targeted at cases in which police officers are not indicted in fatal shootings of suspects — has reached a new phase.

The Ohio Supreme Court listed the change among proposed amendments to court rules it released for public comment on Monday.

A task force appointed by Chief Justice Maureen O’Connor recommended in 2016 that grand jury testimony and evidence be released in limited cases to help foster public confidence in grand jury indictment decisions.

The task force was formed to find ways to increase public confidence in the grand jury system following controversial fatal shootings of blacks in which white officers were not charged with crimes, such as the in the death of 12-year-old Tamir Rice in Cleveland in 2014.

The proposal would allow any member of the public to petition a court to release the records of grand jury proceedings to show why it declined to issue an indictment in a given case.

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