CLEVELAND - When the Department of Justice ordered the Cleveland Police Department to clean up its act in 2015, they expected to see a noticeable change but latest report card from the monitoring team doesn’t leave a lot to the imagination.
When scrolling through the 77-page document, the word “non-compliance” sticks out like a sore thumb.
The consent decree was signed between the city and the DOJ in good faith that the police force would address the glaring issues that came to light in situations like the 2012 Michael Brelo case and 2014 Tamir Rice shooting.
Some of the major issues included use of force and fair investigations, but those are the very topics the police didn’t get a good grade on.
In the latest semi-annual report compiled by independent monitors, Cleveland police didn’t meet the standard in basic elements of police work.
Areas of concern include: Establishment and operation of Force Review Board "to serve as a quality control mechanism for uses of force and force investigations," "Officers will articulate the justification for an investigatory stop, search, or arrest in a specific and clear manner in their reports" and "In each investigation, Internal Affairs will collect and consider" all evidence.
The board also ruled the department was partially compliant in areas like: "Development of use of force policies that comply with applicable law” and developing a bias-free policing policy.
Attorney and Cleveland NAACP chapter vice president James Hardiman said the report shows that the department hasn’t been working on building a relationship with the citizens at all.
"We would have thought that some of the low hanging fruit would have been addressed immediately,” Hardiman said. “We think the people of the city of Cleveland have a right to a have an efficient police department, one that will discharge its duties in a constitutional manner, that has not occurred."
In nearly half of the duties laid out in the report, the Cleveland Police Department was non-compliant.
The department was partially complaint 35 percent of the time and generally compliant less than two percent.
WKYC Channel 3 reached out to Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson and Police Chief Calvin Williams, but they were not available for comment.
The full report is available here.
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