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Cleveland Explores Outside Review For Police Department's Use Of Force

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Following last month's deadly car chase -- which ended with police firing 137 rounds at a motorist and his passenger -- Cleveland officials say they're looking into having an outside agency review future cases involving force.

Thursday, December 27, 2012 at 5:15 pm

Mayor Frank Jackson says there's already an ongoing investigation by Ohio's Bureau of Criminal Investigation (BCI), as to the criminal aspect of the November 29th incident.

Driver Timothy Russell and his passenger Malissa Williams, died in a hail of gunfire after leading police on a nearly half-hour chase across the Greater Cleveland area.

Mayor Jackson says for future occurrences, an external investigation would focus on whether use of force was warranted, and how it was carried out.

“This would include fatal shootings, firing at --or in the direction of -- a person, head strikes with batons or any hard objects, use of sleeper holds, and the like,” says Jackson.

Jackson says the matter is still being discussed, but suggested that an external review could be carried out by a number of agencies including the Ohio BCI or the Cuyahoga County Sheriff's Department. Officials say this could help boost transparency and credibility between local law enforcement and the Cleveland community.

Meanwhile, the mayor says he's asked the U.S. Justice Department to examine current police policies, and see how it compares to national standards. So far, there's been no response from justice officials.

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