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DOJ REACHES DEAL ON CLEVELAND POLICING

Adam Lee Nemann
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Trial and Defense Attorney, Adjunct Professor of Law at Capital University, founder of Nemann Law Offices

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5/27/2015
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DOJ seal The U.S. Justice Department has reached a settlement with Cleveland over an alleged pattern of unconstitutional policing, officials announced on Tuesday.

The deal includes some of the most exacting standards for policing in the nation, the New York Times reports. According to the settlement: The police force will document every time an officer draws a gun, pistol whipping and warning shots by police will be banned, first aid will be immediately provided for injured suspects, and police will generally be prohibited from shooting at moving cars, according to the Times and Cleveland.com.

News of the deal to reform police operations comes after a judge acquitted Cleveland police officer Michael Brelo of manslaughter Saturday for the November 2012 shooting deaths of two people after a police chase, report the New York Times, Cleveland.com, the Washington Post and the Associated Press.

Officers had fired at least 137 shots at the vehicle; Brelo climbed onto the hood of the car and fired after the chase ended. Officers believed the sound of the vehicle backfiring was gunshots. The two unarmed occupants, Timothy Russell and Malissa Williams, died. Brelo was white and the victims were black.

A Justice Department report released in December said Cleveland officers used deadly force unnecessarily and had a pattern and practice of using excessive force.



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