Department of Justice announces agreement with city over Cleveland police

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CLEVELAND- The U.S. Department of Justice announced its agreement with the city over the Cleveland Division of Police on Tuesday.

U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Ohio Steven M. Dettelbach, Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Rights Division Vanita Gupta, Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson and Cleveland Police Chief Calvin Williams announced the consent decree at Cleveland City Hall.

“It will define who we are as a people and who we are as a city,” Jackson said.

The settlement agreement, which still needs approval from a federal judge focuses on community engagement. It creates a community police commission, a civilian police inspector general and a mental health response advisory committee. The 105-page document also calls for revising the use of force policy, public reporting of police activities, and more supervision of search and arrest practices.

In December, the Justice Department released a report stating the Cleveland Division of Police engages “in a pattern or practice of the use of excessive force,” and recommending outside monitoring.

Jackson invited the DOJ investigation following the November 2012 police chase and shooting that resulted in the deaths of Timothy Russell and Malissa Williams. On Saturday, Cleveland Police Officer Michael Brelo was acquitted on two counts of voluntary manslaughter for the shooting.

The police department was also criticized when officers shot and killed 12-year-old Tamir Rice, who was armed with an airsoft gun at Cudell Recreation Center on Nov. 22, 2014.

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