Kroger hasn’t prosecuted most shoplifting arrests in years
Woman protesting police violence

Ta’Kiya Young – an unarmed 21-year-old pregnant woman – was shot and killed by local law enforcement for allegedly shoplifting. What many may not be aware of is that Kroger corporate – averaging $30 billion in annual profit since 2020 – has forgone shoplifting charges for several years now, and if caught by store security, those caught are asked to leave and never come back.

Curbing increasing gun violence, police-involved shootings, and shoplifting, has no good solution no matter how hard the community tries. But one thing we have learned from relatives of those killed by local law enforcement is that police shootings give our young people this attitude – “If the police can do it, then I can do it.”

But there may be an answer to police-involved shootings, but the GOP-besieged state government won’t allow this potential solution be approved for a statewide vote and thus decided by citizens themselves.

During another summer of violence, crime, and police sic’ing dogs on those panicking over being confronted by law enforcement, The Ohio Coalition to End Qualified Immunity’s (OCEQI) proposed constitutional amendment to end Qualified Immunity was rejected by the Ohio Attorney General a 6th time. The OCEQI is not anti-police. They are against the killing of unarmed citizens and want to replace Qualified Immunity – which protects state workers, namely law enforcement, from civil lawsuits – with professional liability insurance. They are undeterred over their latest rejection, and will try again, said the OCEQI in a press statement.

“We don’t want to prematurely issue a statement until the video is released [of Ta’Kiya Young],” said OCEQI spokesperson Cynthia Brown who lost a nephew to Columbus police. “[But] the cop who was in front of her car, did he already have his gun pointing at her? Did he request she get out of the car over a dozen times? Was de-escalation used to prevent loss of life?”

The OCEQI believes if Qualified Immunity were to be exchanged for professional liability insurance, then officers such as Ricky Anderson, with 60 complaints logged against him before he shot and killed Donovan Lewis, will be denied such insurance and unable to work in law enforcement.

“This will weed out the bad officers,” says Brown. “No one is going to insure an officer such Ricky Anderson with a complaint record like that.”

After Issue 1 went down hard on August 8th, the OCEQI made national news the day after when Secretary of State Frank LaRose went on Fox News to warn America the OCEQI was seeking to end Qualified Immunity. LaRose had been silent on all previous OCEQI submissions.

Ohio AG Dave Yost then rejected OCEQI’s latest ballot language later that week. The AG’s role in the petition process is to determine whether the language submitted is a fair and truthful summary of the proposed statute or constitutional amendment.

The AG’s office in a press release stated, “We identified omissions and misstatements that, as a whole, would mislead a potential signer as to the actual scope and effect of the proposed amendment.”

The OCEQI scoffed. Their constitutional amendment has a basic and fundamental mission, as their 6th petition clearly states: “No government actor shall cause any person to be subjected to deprivation of any Constitutional right. A person who has claimed to been subjected to the deprivation of Constitutional right due to the acts or omissions of a government actor may bring a cause of action against that government actor.”

The OCEQI says they will try again but have not offered a timetable.

“The Ohio Coalition To End Qualified Immunity remains committed to its mission and will explore all available avenues to ensure Ohioans can vote on this critical amendment,” they said in a statement. “Our fight to end qualified immunity and hold our government accountable when it violates our constitutional rights in Ohio continues.”