CLEVELAND - The Consent Decree Monitoring Team has released their new Use of Force Policies proposal for the Cleveland Police Department.
They were developed over the past year in response to several controversial officer-involved shootings and allegations of police brutality within the force that led to the city entering into a Consent Decree with the U.S. Department of Justice.
“The City of Cleveland is fully committed to implementing the reforms as set out in the Consent Decree,” said Mayor Jackson. "Employing new and improved Use of Force Policies is an important step towards achieving this goal.”
The new rules would clearly define “excessive force” and provide officers “with clear rules of the road,” said Mathew Barge, head of the Consent Decree Monitoring Team.
Body cameras, crisis intervention training and increased community oversight have already been implemented.
They say the new rules would revamp current procedures, reduce uses of force, while increasing accountability, uniformity and fairness in policing.
But Cleveland Police Patrolmen’s Association President Steve Loomis says, while the proposal looks good at a glance; the wording is extremely “subjective” and could create problems on the street.
He says the best way to avoid an altercation or use of force is to "comply" with officers when you are stopped.
"If you comply, I promise you on kids lives, nothing will happen to you," said Loomis.
Union lawyers are currently reviewing the language while the public is being encouraged to review the plan and give feedback either on line or at the upcoming planned public meetings. The Consent Decree Monitors hope to have the policies finalized and all officers trained by December 31, 2016.