Cleveland Police Reach Settlement with DOJ Limiting Excessive Force
CLEVELAND, May 26 (UPI) — The Department of Justice said Cleveland police must limit their use of excessive force — including the use of firearms, Tasers and chemical sprays.
The city of Cleveland and the DOJ entered into an agreement about police reforms Tuesday days after police officer Michael Brelo was acquitted in the shooting deaths of an unarmed couple.
Brelo’s acquittal prompted protests throughout the city, and the DOJ said it would review the case.
The DOJ had already been investigating the Cleveland Police Department since 2013 after allegations that officers routinely hit people over the head with guns.
The culmination of that review was Tuesday’s settlement, in which the city agreed to “widespread reforms and changes within the CDP,” a DOJ news release said.
Under the agreement, a Community Police Commission comprised of 10 representatives from the community and various police unions, would be created, along with a Mental Health Response Advisory Committee. There would be an emphasis on de-escalation techniques when possible; integration of bias-free policing principles; increased medical care for subjects of force; improved officer training, and equipment and resources available to officers; and policies put in place to attract diverse applicants to the force.
“The Department of Justice is committed to ensuring that every American benefits from a police force that protects and serves all members of the community,” said Attorney General Loretta Lynch. “The agreement we have reached with the city of Cleveland is the result of the hard work and dedication of the entire Cleveland community, and looks to address serious concerns, rebuild trust, and maintain the highest standards of professionalism and integrity.”