Officer-involved shootings, the pause of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, and the continued increased spread of COVID-19 top this week's headlines for the Sound of Ideas Reporters Roundtable.
Yesterday, a veteran Cleveland police officer fatally shot a 25-year-old man after police say the man pulled a gun on officers after a foot chase. The shooting happened at East 134th near Beachwood. Cleveland Police last night released the body camera footage of the shooting. It appears to show the man reaching for a gun and scuffling with the officer. Such a quick release of body camera footage in Cleveland is unusual and it comes after Chief Calvin Williams pleaded with the community to not conflate this incident with others that have sparked outrage around the country.
On Wednesday, an undercover Drug Enforcement Administration officer shot and injured a 20-year-old man in a separate incident.
Summit and Cuyahoga counties are both in the top five of counties where the spread of the coronavirus is most pervasive in the state. In his regular media briefing on the pandemic yesterday, the governor listed Summit County as ranking third in terms of spread with nearly 310 cases per 100,000. Cuyahoga ranked fourth with an incidence rate of nearly 281 per 100,000. The rising spread of virus variants in the state continues to push hospitalization numbers higher and move Ohio further away from dropping health orders. This week the statewide average was 200 cases per 100,000. That is four times the target number set by the governor.
This week the Centers for Disease Control and the Food and Drug Administration paused the use of the single dose Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine. Ohio also paused the use. The recommendation came after six women reported a rare blood clot within weeks of receiving the vaccine. One of the women died from the blood clot.
A substitute budget bill introduced earlier this week by the Ohio House Finance Committee generated interest both for what was in the proposal and what was left out. The Ohio House version of the budget incorporates a long-awaited overhaul of the state's school-funding system which has been ruled unconstitutional four times. The overhaul would increase spending to education by nearly $2 billion dollars, phased in over the next six years. The spending increase would begin in 2023, the second year of this budget bill, and be a boost of $150 million
Anna Huntsman, health reporter/producer, Ideastream
Karen Kasler, Statehouse News Bureau chief, Ohio Public Radio/TV
Sharon Broussard, project manager, Northeast Ohio Solutions Journalism Collaborative