Cleveland police finalize agreement to address widespread racial bias and excessive use of force

Federal judge signed off on agreement between Cleveland and US Justice Department

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Cleveland police now must address complaints of widespread racial bias and excessive use of force after a federal judge signed off an agreement between the city and the US Justice Department.

The agreement, which was released in May, details how Cleveland police can amend its use-of-force policies, as well as its standards of accountability, according to Reuters. The plan also calls for an outside monitor to report back to the court.

US District Court Judge Soloman Oliver on Friday called the plan “fair, reasonable and adequate” to fix problems with excessive force, and said it should be used as a model for police across the country.

The Justice Department in December released a report that found excessive use of force by Cleveland police against civilians and that supervisors tolerated and sometimes even endorsed use of excessive force.

Cleveland’s police have been in the headlines in the past several months for a number of questionable incidents, including the shooting death of 12-year-old Tamir Rice at a city playground.


Judge Oliver signed off on the agreement the day after another judge said he found probable cause to charge both officers in the child’s death, including a murder charge for one of the officers.


The Tamir Rice case has been handed to Cuyahoga County prosecutors after the county’s sheriff’s department finished its investigation. Once the prosecutor finishes investigating, the case will go before a grand jury.


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