Police Shooting Cases Hang Over Ohio Cities

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CINCINNATI (AP) — Volatile and racially sensitive questions of whether to charge police officers for fatal on-duty shootings and whether jurors would convict an officer in such a case are hanging over two of Ohio’s largest cities.

A judge in Cincinnati is expected early next year to set the trial date for a former University of Cincinnati police officer charged with murder in the fatal shooting of an unarmed black motorist after a traffic stop. Meanwhile, a grand jury is hearing testimony about the Cleveland police killing of a 12-year-old black boy who had a pellet gun.

The cases come during heightened scrutiny nationally of police treatment of blacks.

Criminal law professor Michael Benza of Case Western Reserve University says accompanying the increased attention is an erosion of public faith in police credibility.