CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) –The process began with a Justice Department investigation of the Cleveland Division of Police. An investigation that started in March of 2013 and was completed in December. It identified wide ranging systemic failures in the Police Department. But what to do about it? The city had two choices, a costly court fight with the DOJ or negotiating an agreement.
After five months of intense negotiations, a settlement agreement was hammered out that outlines issues to be addressed, how to address them, progress that is made and how to monitor and report that progress.
The decree was signed by Federal Judge Solomon Oliver, who will oversee the process. The speed of his decision took some by surprise, including the NAACP’s James Hardiman who said, “We were not prepared for the Judge to sign it quite this quickly that is not to suggest it is not a good agreement, I think it is a good agreement.”
Hardiman listed areas he would have liked more community input citing ‘Reporting mechanisms, the time frame, the collection of demographic data so that we will get a clear understanding of what types of complaints are being logged.’
The consent decree covers far more than the police use of deadly force, but there is no doubt that high profile cases like that of Tamir Rice and others served as catalysts to speed negotiations.
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Article Courtesy of WOIO 19 Action News
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