Tags: Department of Justice | Cleveland | agreement | police | abuse

Dept. of Justice, Cleveland Ready to Release Settlement on Police Abuse

By    |   Monday, 25 May 2015 06:35 PM

The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) and the city of Cleveland, Ohio, reportedly have reached agreement on a "consent decree" which would settle a dispute between DOJ and the city over DOJ-alleged police abuse and unconstitutional law enforcement.

While neither the DOJ nor Cleveland's government have confirmed the deal, The New York Times reports that the settlement could be announced as early as Tuesday, thus avoiding lengthy court action.

The Times, citing sources "briefed on the case," noted that while details of the settlement have not been revealed, in other cities, DOJ has mandated the use of independent police monitors, changes in use-of-force policies and additional police training.

In December, DOJ released a scathing 58-page report of its findings that Cleveland police used excessive force, including on mentally ill people, and overused stun guns, chemical sprays and beatings, the Times noted.

The report found "unreasonable and unnecessary use of force" after reviewing close to 600 police encounters involving the use of force between 2010-2013, the Times noted.

The DOJ's Vanita Gupta, a civil rights prosecutor, told the Times, "Supervisors throughout the chain of command endorse questionable and sometimes unlawful conduct by officers. Officers are not provided with adequate training, policy guidance and supervision to do their jobs safely and effectively."

Cleveland already has seen protests over the acquittal of Michael Brelo, one of the police who fired a total of 137 shots, some fatal, at Timothy Russell and Malissa Williams on November 29 during a car chase, believing them to be armed and returning fire, although they were not armed, the Times reports.

In addition, prosecutors are determining whether to file charges against an officer who, last year, killed 12-uear-old Tamir Rice, who was playing with a toy gun police thought was real, and an officer who restrained bipolar Tanisha Anderson, who died, the Times reports.

Charges of overuse of force by police are among issues which have resulted in a movement to hold a recall election of Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson, Cleveland.com reports.

Saturday, about 100 protesters marched in downtown Cleveland and 71 were arrested, the Times reports.

Cleveland Police Chief Calvin D. Williams told the Times, "We only moved in to make arrests when things got violent and protesters refused to disperse. We want people to understand we’re going to help you in this process, but if things turn violent in this situation, we will take action."

The Times notes that DOJ has launched nearly two dozen investigations into police departments since Obama took office, including Seattle, Newark, Albuquerque and Fergson, Missouri, and also is planning to investigate police in Baltimore, where riots erupted after the death of Freddie Gray, who died in police custody.

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The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) and the city of Cleveland, Ohio, reportedly have reached agreement on a consent decree which would settle a dispute between DOJ and the city over DOJ-alleged police abuse and unconstitutional law enforcement. While neither the DOJ nor...
Department of Justice, Cleveland, agreement, police, abuse
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2015-35-25
Monday, 25 May 2015 06:35 PM
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