New policing standards in Cleveland

The city of Cleveland, Ohio will be enacting tough new policing standards. 

The New York Times reports

The Cleveland police department, which has become synonymous with the racially charged debate over police tactics, has agreed to follow some of the most exacting standards in the nation over how and when its officers can use force, and it will accept close oversight to make sure those rules are not ignored, city and federal officials said Tuesday.

The agreement is part of a settlement with the Justice Department over what federal officials have called a pattern of unconstitutional policing and abuse in Cleveland. The department found in a review released late last year that police officers here used stun guns inappropriately, punched and kicked unarmed people, and shot at people who posed no threat. The episodes often went unreported and uninvestigated, investigators found.

Alternet reports

…the settlement will force Cleveland’s police to address: racial profiling and biases; unconstitutional stops, searches and siezures; widespread use of excessive force, including reviewing all arrests where it is used; dealing with the mentally ill, including new 24/7 health services; and new community-based accountability, including civilian oversight boards. The settlement’s terms will be overseen by a federal judge.

“We have listened,” Steven Dettelbach, United States Attorney for the Northern District of Ohio, has said. “The number of substantive real reforms that are in this agreement is staggering. This is detailed. This is real stuff.”

[Vinnie Rotondaro is NCR national correspondent. His email address]

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