Cleveland’s agreement with the Justice Department to reform the city’s police force is one of 14 across the country U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions wants to review. Sessions says such consent decrees taint entire police departments because of a few bad cops. But as WKSU’s Kevin Niedermier reports, Cleveland officials believe the 2015 agreement remains the best path to real reform.
In a written statement, Cleveland’s Consent Decree Implementation Coordinator Greg White says the city doesn’t anticipate any major changes in what it’s doing under the consent decree. Mayor Frank Jackson also vows to continue the work. And Mike Brickner of the ACLU of Ohio says Attorney General Sessions is wrong about the impact of consent decree.
“The facts and the data show that in fact when consent decrees work that they make it easier for police officers to do their jobs, it better protects public safety, and it also protects vulnerable communities and their rights that have historically suffered under bad police practices.”
In 2014 the Justice Department found that Cleveland police used excessive force and cited the need for better recruiting, training, accountability and community relations.