Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Cleveland consent decree provides blueprint for long-elusive police reforms

Cleveland's Division of Police, for years a source of civil-rights complaints and racial tensions, could see long-elusive reforms under a deal announced Tuesday by Mayor Frank Jackson and the U.S. Department of Justice.

The scope of the settlement, known as a consent decree, is sweeping.

A 105-page document will serve as a blueprint for overhauling policies that federal lawyers say promoted excessive force. It also demands more accountability and transparency from officers and their supervisors when justifying the use of force.

Perhaps most ambitiously, it aims to mend a frayed relationship between police and the community. Citizens would have a larger role and louder voice through a 13-member advisory committee established to recommend improvements.

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