** Watch prior coverage in the player above of Mayor Justin Bibb’s announcement of his nominees for the city’s new Community Police Commission on Friday, Oct. 28, which was interrupted by a protester.

CLEVELAND (WJW) — Cleveland city councilmembers on Monday night passed a resolution approving all 13 nominees for the city’s new Community Police Commission.

Interviews with Mayor Justin Bibb’s 10 nominees lasted two days, but left some appointment committee members with concerns, according to a Monday news release from the council.

Councilpersons Richard Starr, Ward 5, and Kris Harsh, Ward 13, both members of the Mayor’s Appointments Committee, said they feel the slate of nominees don’t represent all the categories recommended under the charter amendment that created the commission. Harsh said though he feels the nominees are “highly qualified,” he expected that all of the categories needed to be filled.

Here’s what the city charter says about those categories:

At least two Commission members must represent community organizations focused on civil-rights issues. At least one Commission member must be, represent, or be knowledgeable of, as applicable, the issues of those who are limited-English speakers, homeless, or who have mental-illness and substance-abuse disorders; those who have been directly impacted by police violence, or be a family member of a person who has been killed by police; those who have been incarcerated and exonerated where police were involved in the wrongful conviction or incarceration; gun-violence survivors or be a family member of a person killed by gun violence; an attorney with experience representing victims of police misconduct or criminally prosecuting police misconduct. A single Commission member may fulfill more than one of the above categories.

Cleveland City Charter, Chapter 25, § 115-5 Community Police Commission

During Mayor Bibb’s October announcement of his nominees, Black Lives Matter Cleveland organizer Kareem Henton stood in front of him blasting an air horn and holding a sign that read “Yes on 24.” Issue 24, a ballot initiative that passed in last year’s general election, was an amendment to the city charter giving civilians enhanced oversight of police.

Henton that day told the FOX 8 I-Team that city officials aren’t “playing by the rules,” and haven’t nominated figures to the commission as demanded by the charter amendment language — “those representations are not there,” he said.

“We definitely came here to voice our discontent with not just what he had to say, but what they have essentially been trying to do,” Henton said, later adding, “What they’re doing is calling anybody an activist and advocate just to give them legitimacy. Many of them are not legitimate.”

Starr expressed concern over whether nominees were dishonest during the interview process, according to the release. Appointments committee members then reserved the right to bring candidates back before the committee “if inaccuracies or mistruths are discovered,” reads the release.

The 10 nominees selected by Mayor Bibb include:

  • James M. Chura, 4-year term: A retired Cleveland police captain
  • Charles Donaldson Jr., 4-year term: A U.S. Coast Guard veteran and human resources worker at Sherwin-Williams
  • Pastor Kyle Earley, 2-year term: A senior pastor at City of God Cleveland and an “active community organizer,” said Bibb
  • Alana Garrett-Ferguson, 4-year term: A member of NAACP Cleveland and New Voices for Reproductive Justice and a policy associate at the Center for Community Solutions
  • Cait Kennedy, 2-year term: An associate professor at Baldwin Wallace University who also co-founded the mobile app unBail, which helps defendants navigate the justice system, Bibb said
  • Gregory Reaves, 2-year term: A career coach
  • Jan Ridgeway, 4-year term: The volunteer director and president of Garden Valley Neighborhood House
  • Piet van Lier, 4-year term: A senior researcher at Policy Matters Ohio who has studied the justice system
  • Teri Wang, 2-year term: A Harvard graduate who works as a consultant and advocate for immigrants
  • Sharena Zayed, 2-year term: A community organizer and advocate for victims and families, whose 15-year-old son died in March 2020

Three nominees were selected by Cleveland City Council:  

  • Dr. John Adams, 4-year term: A Cleveland Metropolitan School District teacher who holds a PhD in African-American history
  • Shandra Benito, 2-year term: A licensed social worker whose clients have experienced homelessness
  • Audrianna Rodriguez, 4-year term: A family advocate at the Centers for Families and Children who works at three Cleveland Metropolitan schools

Appointments committee chairperson Joseph Jones, Ward 1, acknowledged disagreements about the nominees, but urged their confirmation.

“Part of our committee’s responsibility is to seat the members that the mayor has sent to the table,” he is quoted in the release. “We will deal with legal interpretations at a later time, if they arise.”

A fourth committee member, Anthony Hairston, Ward 10; safety committee chairperson Michael Polensek, Ward 8; and councilperson Kevin Conwell, Ward 9, also sat in on the interviews, according to the release.