Justice Department Investigates Cleveland Police

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

CLEVELAND, Ohio -The U.S. Department of Justice is opening up a pattern or practice investigation into the use of force by the Cleveland Police Department.

During a news conference Thursday morning, Mayor Frank Jackson said he asked for the investigation after the November 29 police chase and police involved shooting. Jackson said he wanted an independent review.

The investigation is not just focusing on the the deadly chase and police involved shooting, but on all allegations of officers use of excessive force.

U.S. Department of Justice officials stress the investigation is not based on one incident.

Steven Dettelbach, United States Attorney for the Northern District of Ohio, and Thomas Perez, assistant Attorney General for the Civil Rights Division, says they will not leave any stone unturned. The investigation is civil not criminal and will take several months.

Union President Jeff Follmer says he believes his officers have done nothing wrong and hopes the investigation brings a change in leadership.

“This is happening under the chief’s watch,” Follmer said.  “I hope one of their recommendations is that there is a new chief.”

The justice department previously did a similar investigation in Cleveland more than 10 years ago.

The justice department has done recent investigations on police departments in Seattle, Puerto Rico, and Warren, Ohio.

The investigation will determine whether CPD officers engage in a pattern or practice of using excessive force in violation of the constitution and federal law.

Anyone with any information regarding the Cleveland Police Department that could help in this investigation is asked to send an email to community.cleveland@usdoj.gov or call (202)307-6479.

Jessica Bates March 14, 201310:38 am

The news conference has ended.

Jessica Bates March 14, 201310:32 am

Dettlebach: In respect to the Nov 29th shooting investigation it was completed and referred to the county prosecutor’s office by the Attorney General’s Office and BCI. The county prosecutor’s office is reviewing that now. We will wait for them to decide.

Jessica Bates March 14, 201310:30 am

Perez: We are going to be here conducting a through investigation. When you open up one door, you can walk into three more doors and a window you need to look into. That does take time. We recognize this is a serious matter. We have an equally shared interest to be fair and through. I can’t give a specific timeline on how long we will be here.

Jessica Bates March 14, 201310:29 am

Perez: We try to craft remedies to fit specific jurisdictions.

Jessica Bates March 14, 201310:27 am

Perez: There is not one cookie cutter type of approach.

Jessica Bates March 14, 201310:24 am

Perez: There is no preconceived notions on where this investigation will take us. We are looking into allegations of excessive force and other reports.

Jessica Bates March 14, 201310:21 am

Mayor Jackson: We welcome this investigation. Jackson says it is important to have level of trust between police and community.

Jessica Bates March 14, 201310:19 am

Steven Dettlebach: We come into this investigation with an open mind. This investigation was asked for by several community leaders.

Jessica Bates March 14, 201310:14 am

Perez: The road ahead will be challenging. This work is not easy. In the months ahead, we plan to do a considerable amount of listening to the community and the police force. Riding along with you so we can see what you do. .

Jessica Bates March 14, 201310:12 am

Perez: This is not a criminal investigation, it is a civil investigation. We are focused on CPD as a whole, not individual officers.

Jessica Bates March 14, 201310:10 am

Perez: Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson as well as others asked for the investigation.

Jessica Bates March 14, 201310:09 am

Perez: Officials will not leave any stone unturned. Will meet with officers and community leaders and citizens.

Jessica Bates March 14, 201310:09 am

Perez: Will be through and fair.

Jessica Bates March 14, 201310:08 am

Thomas Perez, assistant attorney general for the civil rights division, says a full investigation is warranted.

Jessica Bates March 14, 201310:05 am

The Justice Department is expected to hold a news conference shortly regarding their investigation on the November 29 Cleveland police chase and police involved shooting. They will also discuss their investigation on allegations of officers use of excessive force.

The investigation will determine whether CPD officers engage in a pattern or practice of using excessive force in violation of the constitution and federal law.