DOJ Settles With Cleveland Over Police Conduct

The Justice Department has reached a settlement with the city of Cleveland over the conduct of its police officers, according to a Justice official, the latest case in which the Obama administration has investigated excessive use of force and the violation of constitutional rights by a local department.

The settlement, amid the growing national debate about American policing, is expected to be announced early this week, the official said. It comes just days after a judge acquitted a Cleveland police officer for his role in the fatal shooting of two unarmed people in a car in 2012 after officers thought the sound of the car backfiring was gunshots.

The Justice Department in December issued a scathing report that accused the Cleveland Police Department of illegally using deadly force against citizens. The Justice Department’s civil rights division found that the Cleveland police engaged in a “pattern or practice” of unnecessary force — including shooting residents, striking them in the head and spraying them with chemicals.

In one incident, an officer used a stun gun on “a suicidal, deaf man who committed no crime, posed minimal risk to officers and may not have understood officers’ commands.”

The police were also accused of repeatedly punching in the face a handcuffed 13-year-old boy who had been arrested for shoplifting.

The Cleveland report was released the month after a 12-year-old African American boy, Tamir Rice, was fatally shot by a white Cleveland police officer. Cleveland officers had responded to a 911 call that reported a person pointing a gun. It turned out to be a toy pistol.

A Justice Department spokeswoman would not comment on the settlement, which was first reported on the Web site of the New York Times.

When last year’s report about Cleveland was released, then-Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. traveled to the city to announce the findings and said the Justice Department and the city had agreed to establish an independent monitor who would oversee police reforms. The changes will include better training and better supervision of officers, Holder said.

There have been more than 20 investigation by the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division in the past 5 years. The investigations have resulted in 15 agreements with law enforcement agencies, including New Orleans and Albuquerque.  The Justice Department recently opened an investigation of the Baltimore police department.

UPDATE

Here is the consent decree that the Cleveland police department entered into with the government.

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On a separate matter, I will be off and on today — probably offline more than on.  Tomorrow, I might reblog some articles and unless something comes up that is really interesting, that might be the case for several days until I catch-up on some personal matters and begin feeling better.

Remember to keep the Golden Rule. 

Posted on 05/26/2015, in Cases, Cops Gone Wild, Department of Justice, Tamir Rice and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 33 Comments.

  1. I hope you feel better and are able to take care of that personal business. I wish we knew the details.

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  2. Id rather see them announce indictments rather than these settlements

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  3. What the hell are they teaching these cops in the academy ?? No wonder Fogen wanted to be a cop………………everyone’s fair game in a target rich environment.

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    • Good morning Racer! Funny you should mention that. I found a great article written by a police academy trainer who says that academies are being ran like military boot camps. He has some profound things to say about it. I’ll blog about as soon as time permits.

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  4. yahtzeebutterfly

    Shameful and bully-type acts by those Cleveland officers you mentioned.

    Brutal!!

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  5. yahtzeebutterfly

    “Cleveland congregations march downtown after Brelo acquittal (video)”
    http://www.cleveland.com/metro/index.ssf/2015/05/cleveland_congregations_march.html

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  6. yahtzeebutterfly

    At the bottom of the following linked article is the 110 page DOJ Cleveland Settlement Agreement Document:

    http://www.cleveland.com/metro/index.ssf/2015/05/clevelands_settlement_with_the.html

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  7. yahtzeebutterfly

    Here is a direct link to the DOJ Cleveland Settlement document:

    http://www.documentcloud.org/documents/2087033-cleveland-consent-decree.html#document/p1

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  8. I’d like to meet these “Brave Police Officer Heroes” who got their rocks off punching a 13yo kid in the face.
    Then I’d like to hire the BIGGEST BADEST Muther to beat their asses for an hour a day, every day, for a month, until they beg for mercy & promise that kid they’re gonna spend one day every month for the rest of their life assisting victims of severe child abuse.

    and then probably beat their asses one more time, just to make sure they don’t forget what pos punks they are.

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  9. If you hadnt seen this have a lookie who we have here! Mrs.BossLady herself in front of none other, (your personal fave X) Judge Judy!

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    • yahtzeebutterfly

      Wow! Judge Judy really was not going to have any of his nonsense!

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    • Thanks Shannon! Marilyn said something very important at the end when she was interviewed. She reached out to law enforcement and the District Attorney. They did nothing, tossing her into the civil court. That’s the experience of many people and so many, unless they can afford an attorney, never get to redress differences.

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  10. yahtzeebutterfly

    From the document – Cleveland PD has agreed to the following:

    CDP will deliver police services with the goal of ensuring that they are equitable, respectful, and free of UNLAWFUL bias, in a manner that promotes broad community engagement and confidence in CDP.

    CDP expects all officers to treat all members of the Cleveland community with courtesy, professionalism, and respect, and not to use harassing, intimidating, or derogatory language.

    CDP will integrate bias-free policing principles into its management, policies and procedures, job descriptions, recruitment, training, personnel evaluations, resource
    deployment, tactics, and accountability systems.

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  11. yahtzeebutterfly

    From the document – Cleveland PD has agreed to the following:

    Use of Force Principles

    The City will implement the terms of this Agreement with the goal of ensuring that use of force by CDP officers, regardless of the type of force, tactics, or weapon used, will comply with the following requirements:

    a. officers will allow individuals the opportunity to submit to arrest before force is used wherever possible;

    b. officers will use de-escalation techniques whenever possible and appropriate, before resorting to force and to reduce the need for force. De-escalation techniques may include verbal persuasion and warnings and tactical de-escalation techniques, such as slowing down the pace of an incident, waiting out subjects, creating distance (and thus the reactionary gap) between the officer and the threat, and requesting additional resources g. specialized CIT officers or negotiators).

    Officers will be trained to consider the possibility that a subject may be noncompliant due to a medical or mental condition, physical or hearing impairment, language barrier, drug interaction, or emotional crisis;

    c. if force becomes necessary, officers will be limited to using only the amount of force objectively reasonable as necessary to control the person.

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  12. yahtzeebutterfly

    deray mckesson @deray · 2m 2 minutes ago
    The police have been allowed to function in their own world without question for so long — their own laws, justice system, etc. Until now.

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  13. A Cleveland activist reads between the lines of the settlement.

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