City of Cleveland Defends Record on Police Use of Force

Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson, flanked by Police Chief Calvin Williams, speaks after Tamir Rice's shooting.
Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson, flanked by Police Chief Calvin Williams, speaks after Tamir Rice's shooting.
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The city defended Mayor Frank Jackson’s record, saying Jackson oversaw the revision of many police policies governing uses of force, including after a consultant’s report in 2013.

And the city also released numbers this week showing less-lethal uses of force by the police in 2014 were well below their average over the past eight years.

That includes police using bodily force, Tasers or pepper spray on suspects, as well as hitting them with batons. Numbers on shootings or other uses of deadly force weren’t yet available.

And in an open letter, the mayor wrote that the city has held several meetings negotiating police reforms with the Department of Justice.

Jackson wrote he didn’t necessarily agree with all of the DOJ’s conclusions in its report last year finding police too often used excessive force.

And the mayor added that the Justice Department should probe deeper into the criminal justice system to determine whether the pattern of arrests, charges and sentences in Northeast Ohio violate residents’ constitutional rights.

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