Cleveland Outlines Delays, Progress in Police Consent Decree

Cleveland police and out-of-town officers move through Public Square during the Republican National Convention.
Cleveland police and out-of-town officers move through Public Square during the Republican National Convention. [Nick Castele / ideastream]
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The city of Cleveland acknowledges there have been delays in complying with its police reform agreement with the Justice Department. The city laid out its progress to date in a sixth-month status update filed in federal court this week.

In the past six months, Cleveland has redone its police use of force policies. Just last week, a federal judge approved new guidelines for responding to people in mental health crises.

But other projects remain unfinished.

Cleveland originally planned to hire a civilian to lead the internal affairs unit by August of last year. That deadline was pushed back to this month and will be delayed again, according to the court filing.

The office of professional standards still faces a backlog in investigating complaints against officers. The city says it has hired two more full-time investigators to address the problem, but is struggling to bring on additional temporary employees.

Cleveland will keep working on its equipment plan, too, after the monitor overseeing the city’s compliance with the consent decree criticized parts of it as insufficient.

The city’s report says the monitor is expected to approve or disapprove of a bias-free policing plan by the end of February. 

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