CLEVELAND, Ohio -- Mayor Frank Jackson met with the media Thursday morning to discuss the recent report from the U.S. Justice Department that the police department has used a pattern or practice of excessive force.
The mayor started by welcoming the findings of the Department of Justice.
“We’re not at all adverse to the Department of Justice coming in and reviewing the division of police," Jackson said. He said there is also an internal investigation into the department.
Jackson said the Department of Justice findings should address external factors impacting the division of police like the entire criminal justice system. That includes who is arrested and how they are sentenced.
“There is disparity in how a police officer is treated than an average citizen and there is disparity in how an average citizen is treated than another average citizen," Jackson said.
The mayor applauded the behavior and sincerity of the young people involved in recent protests. He said he appreciates them calling for the resignations of special assistant to the mayor Martin Flask and Director of Public Safety Michael McGrath, but he disagrees.
Repeatedly, Jackson was asked if there should be a change in leadership. He referred back to the internal investigation into the division.
The mayor briefly discussed the death of 12-year-old Tamir Rice, who was shot by a Cleveland police officer last month. He said it was his worst day as mayor.
"I do not want children to die at the hands of police officers," Jackson said.
He said it's difficult not to look at the Department of Justice report without thinking about Rice.