Cleveland Submits Its Recommendations For Police Use Of Force Policy To Federal Judge For Approval
As it pertains to the Justice Department consent decree. The Consent decree passed down in 2015 from the DOJ stated that Cleveland had 18 months to fix the broken system and come up with some recommendations on the “Use of Force” policy. Some (But not all) of the welcome changes expected are:
- Allow individuals a chance to submit to arrest before force is used
- Use de-escalation techniques whenever possible and appropriate
- Not use force against persons who are handcuffed or otherwise restrained
- Not use force against persons who have only verbally confronted them
- Not use retaliatory force or neck holds (choke holds)
While these are welcome changes to anyone who has encountered the previous use of force policy, the real test will be the consequences an officer who breaks these policies face. Without an effective deterrent for bad behavior, this may be all lip service anyway. The City of Cleveland does not have a great track record when it comes to following policy.
Just ask Micheal Brelo who was acquitted of murder charges when he emptied a clip and reloaded into a couple, whose only crime was that their car backfired. He only broke policy by joining a 90 some odd car police chase through Cleveland and jumped on the hood of the suspect’s car like Rambo, firing every bullet he had at the unarmed couple.
Ask Dave Mindek or Matt Craska, who skated on murdering Dan Ficker because they only violated the policy of crossing jurisdictions into Parma and ignoring emergency calls to carry out a vendetta. Dave Mindek owns a bar in Fairview Park Ohio, so breaking policy means nothing to him.
Or ask Timothy Loehmann, who has a piss poor service record for the short time he has even been employed as a cop in Cleveland, about breaking policy. Or Frank Garmback. Better yet, ask the person who hired Loehmann, who would end up shooting 12 year old Tamir Rice, about breaking policy. No consequences means more bad behavior.
Not only does it promote bad behavior from these officers, but it gives other officers the idea that they can do anything! So we will see if these recommendations are A. approved, B. Followed, and C. have real consequences when broken. How many people will have to be beaten and or killed before we will see if the Cleveland Police are really trying to reform and how great that effort will be? So far all we have is talk.
Stay tuned to the CopBlock Network to find out where we go from here in Cleveland. You can read the recommendations here.