Cleveland police soon will have new rules for handling surveillance videos and photographs from use-of-force cases. The new policy is in response to Cleveland Plain Dealer articles that unearthed record-keeping deficiencies within the department. With one exception, top police administrators say they won’t investigate conflicting statements and other discrepancies the newspaper found when examining dozens of instances where officers scuffled with suspects.
Supervisors rightly treated these inconsistencies as honest mistakes or minor contradictions, not deliberately false statements, Deputy Chief Hector Cuevas said. “We’re not looking for perfection,” said Cuevas, who was supported by Chief Michael McGrath. “These are not English professors generating these documents.” The Plain Dealer reviewed more than three dozen use-of-force cases involving officers who have faced criminal assault accusations this year.