Justice Department to Investigate Cleveland Police


The Justice Department announced last week an investigation into use of force by Cleveland police.

The investigation will examine allegations that Cleveland officers use excessive force and unreasonable deadly force. In addition, the Justice Department will review the city's police training and supervision policies.

City leaders called for the federal government to investigate after a December car chase ended with two dead and 137 shots fired from police guns, according to the Associated Press. Suspects Timothy Russell and Malissa Williams, were shot a combined 47 times during the hail of gunfire, according to the Cuyahoga County coroner’s office.

The Huffington Post reported that 13 officers were placed on administrative leave pending the outcome of a separate investigation by the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation.

However, U.S. Assistant Attorney General Thomas Perez said the investigation would not focus on just one incident, but on broader allegations of excessive force.

“Our investigation into CPD’s use of force practices will be thorough, fair and independent,” Perez said this morning at a press conference in Cleveland. “We will follow the facts, wherever the facts. We will peel the onion to its core, and leave no stone unturned.”

Perez's full statement was posted online by the Cleveland Plain Dealer HERE.

Similar Justice Department investigations have taken between 12 and 18 months to complete and usually end with a consent decree, in which a federal judge administers police department reforms.

In the last year, consent decrees have been issued in Seattle, New Orleans and Puerto Rico.

Comments are closed.