Monday, June 01, 2015

POLICING IN AMERICA - Cleveland Reforms as a Model?

"Will Cleveland’s police reform offer blueprint for other cities?" PBS NewsHour 5/26/2015


SUMMARY:  After recurring instances of excessive force by Cleveland’s police force, the Department of Justice and city officials announced a sweeping legal agreement that rewrites the rules for the police department.  Gwen Ifill learns more about the efforts to rebuild relations between police and the city from Ronnie Dunn of Cleveland State University.

GWEN IFILL (NewsHour):  The Department of Justice and the city of Cleveland announced a sweeping legal settlement today that rewrites the rules for the city’s police department after recurring instances of the use of excessive force.

The U.S. attorney, the city police chief and Cleveland’s mayor all praised the agreement at a joint news conference.

STEVEN DETTELBACH, U.S. Attorney, Northern District of Ohio:  Compliance with this agreement, which means taking on truly systemic change, is going to be — and I say this as a Clevelander — it’s going to be hard work.

CALVIN WILLIAMS, Chief, Cleveland Division of Police:  We talked a lot about the nuts and bolts of this, but what it really comes down to is, we have to, I have to, as chief, make sure that community policing philosophy is part of the DNA of the Cleveland Division of Police.  And that’s what I intend to do.

MAYOR FRANK JACKSON, Cleveland:  I have expressed throughout this my major issue was twofold, one, that it didn’t go far enough, and, two, that we wanted to have substantive, real reform that was sustainable, not just, as the U.S. attorney said, some pretense of reform.  So this gives us the tools.

GWEN IFILL:  For more on what it took to get to this agreement, and what happens next, I’m joined by Ronnie Dunn, associate professor of urban studies at Cleveland State University.  He also serves on the Ohio Task Force on Community-Police Relations.

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