Cleveland police officers must be retrained on using force on suspects, Mayor Frank Jackson said in a more stringent policy. The Cleveland Plain Dealer says the new policy explicitly spells out what was previously only implied: “Excessive force shall not be tolerated.” Community groups had criticized former Mayor Jane Campbell for five police-involved shootings – four of them fatal – in the last four months of her administration.
Jackson plans to meet soon with officials in the Law Department to find out why it can take years for prosecutors to rule whether shootings are justified. That slow-moving process was a source of frustration for community activists and the relatives of the shooting victims. Jackson did not criticize any of the recent shootings or say if they would be unjustified under the new guidelines. His interim director of public safety, former Police Chief Martin Flask, remembers times during his 30 years with the department when officers failed to follow protocols and ended up having to use force.