Allegations of excessive force have prompted a U.S. Department of Justice investigation into practices of the Cleveland Division of Police.
According to the news release, Cleveland officers have been accused of using unreasonable deadliy force. Cleveland NBC-affiliate WKYC reports Mayor Frank Jackson, along with other community leaders, urged the Justice Department for an investigation after officers fired more than 137 shots at two suspects during a car chase last November.
Investigators will also review the police division's policies, procedures, training accountability systems and community engagement.
â??Police officers across the country are called upon to protect and safeguard members of their communities and are afforded the authority they need to do so, including the authority to use deadly force,â?? said Thomas E. Perez, Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Rights Division. â??It is absolutely imperative that officers use that authority responsibly and within the boundaries of the law. We are eager to work together with the city of Cleveland and its police department to help ensure that its officers are best serving the individuals they are sworn to protect.â??
Once the investigation is complete, the Justice Department will determine whether reforms are needed in the department. According to WKYC, the investigation is not a criminal review.
â??As we begin this process, our commitment to this community and this city is to conduct a thorough and fair investigation,â?? said Steven M. Dettelbach, U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Ohio. â??Our joint goal cannot be to invent tough issues, nor can we hide from them if they exist. The Mayor, among others, requested this investigation, and we hope that with the continued cooperation of the city and the community we can ensure Clevelandâ??s residents receive top notch police protection.â??