Cleveland to settle with Department of Justice over alleged 'unconstitutional police misconduct'

News comes amid national scrutiny of police behaviour

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The Independent US

The city of Cleveland has reached a settlement with the Justice Department over what officials called "a pattern of unconstitutional policing and excessive use of force," the New York Times reported.

Details of the settlement are expected to be announced as early as Tuesday morning, just days after a judge declared a Cleveland cop not guilty of manslaughter for climbing onto the hood of a car and firing repeatedly at its unarmed occupants.

During President Barack Obama’s administration, nearly two dozen investigations into local police departments were opened. Federal investigators found patterns of unconstitutional policing in Baltimore, Seattle, Newark, Albuquerque and Ferguson.

The Justice Department’s report of the Cleveland Police Department found unnecessary use of deadly force, excessive force against the mentally ill people, inappropriate use of stun guns, chemical sprays and physical assault. The report also claimed that the department fails at holding cops accountable after misconduct.

“Force incidents often are not properly reported, documented, investigated, or addressed with corrective measures. Supervisors throughout the chain of command endorse questionable and sometimes unlawful conduct by officers.”

The DOJ continued to reveal that these officers admit to conducting their investigations with the intentions of casting accused officers in the “most positive light possible.” Investigators said that the bias is deeply rooted and cuts at the heart of the accountability at the Cleveland PD.

“Supervisors throughout the chain of command endorse questionable and sometimes unlawful conduct by officers,” Vanita Gupta, the Justice Department’s top civil rights prosecutor, said in December.

“Officers are not provided with adequate training, policy guidance, and supervision to do their jobs safely and effectively.”