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Cleveland Police Consent Decree Conversation Details History, Views of Progress

The first community conversation was held on January 27, 2021 [Via YouTube]
The first community conversation was held on January 27, 2021 [Via YouTube]

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.

Last week, the United Way of Greater Cleveland and the Cleveland branch of the NAACP convened the first of 10-planned community conversations on the Consent Decree. Those conversations to be held monthly through 2021 will focus on different aspects of the Consent Decree and involve key stakeholders in the reform process.

We will be hearing much of that conversation on the show today.  The discussion, hosted by Judge Ronald Adrine, focused on bringing the community up to date on where progress stands with the Consent Decree. 

​We will continue to bring you these conversations throughout the year.  The next community conversation is set for February 10.  It will focus on the use of force in policing and will be moderated by Ideastream’s Rick Jackson.


Find out more about the United Way of Greater Cleveland and Cleveland NAACP Conversation Series on the Consent Decree

Watch the entire first community conversation on the Consent Decree

  • Calvin Williams, Chief of Police, City of Cleveland
  • Barbara Langhenry , Law Director, City of Cleveland
  • Bridget Brennan, Acting U.S. Attorney, Northern District of Ohio
  • Jason Goodrick, Executive Director, Cleveland Community Police Commission
  • Hassan Aden, Cleveland Police Monitor
  • Ayesha Hardaway, Deputy Monitor, Cleveland Police Monitoring Team
  • Danielle Sydnor, Community Volunteer
Rachel is the supervising producer for Ideastream Public Media’s morning public affairs show, the “Sound of Ideas.”