Cleveland Consent Decree Conversation Zeroes In On Transparency And Accountability
Cleveland entered into a Consent Decree with the Department of Justice in 2015. The decree mandated changes in the city’s police department after an investigation found that the Cleveland Division of Police engaged in a pattern of excessive force. The decree lays out a number of reforms for police including changes in use of force policy, bias-free policing, more diversity in recruitment and hiring and increased transparency and accountability.
The Consent Decree grew out of a two-year investigation launched by the Department of Justice after requests from the City of Cleveland and concerned citizens. Those requests were prompted by the 2012 police chase which ended in the deaths of unarmed citizens -- Timothy Russell and Malissa Williams -- in a barrage of 137 bullets.
The DOJ investigation found that the Cleveland Division of Police engaged in a pattern and practice of excessive force in violation of the U.S. Constitution.
The Consent Decree and its reforms seek to restore trust between the community and the Cleveland Division of Police and protect citizens’ Constitutional rights.
The initial agreement called for a 5-year plan of reform but there is more work left to do so the Consent Decree will be extended.
Today we bring you the third installment in a series of community conversations put together by the United Way of Greater Cleveland and the Cleveland branch of the NAACP. These conversations are to be held monthly through 2021 will focus on different aspects of the Consent Decree and involve key stakeholders in the reform process.
This month's discussion, hosted by Colleen Cotter, Executive Director of the Legal Aid Society of Cleveland, focused on transparency, accountability, and oversight.
We will continue to bring you these conversations throughout the year. The next community conversation is set for April 14th, and is moderated by our Rick Jackson.
Colleen Cotter, Executive Director, Legal Aid Society of Cleveland
Karrie Howard, Director, Department of Public Safety, City of Cleveland
Ayesha Hardaway, Deputy Monitor, Cleveland Police Monitoring Team
Richard Jackson, Co-Chair, Cleveland Community Police Commission and Retired Sergeant, Cleveland Division of Police
Shakyra Diaz, Managing Director of Partnerships/Ohio State Director, Alliance for Safety and Justice
Brian Carney, Commander, Cleveland Division of Police
Joellen O’Neill, Deputy Chief, Cleveland Division of Police.