The City of Cleveland plans to release new policies governing investigations of police misconduct. These proposed changes to the internal and external investigations procedures come as a result of the Department of Justice settlement , after the DOJ found “structural and systematic deficiencies and practices” by Cleveland police.
We have created a comprehensive list of our proposed recommendations for police oversight, which will help ensure a much higher standard of policing for the city of Cleveland. Our recommendations include four major areas of concern:
Independence. Independent external investigators must be required for all deaths or serious injuries by police or while in police custody.
Funding. In order to hold police accountable and lessen the wait time of complaint investigation, the Office Of Professional Standards must have enough resources to complete thorough and fair investigations.
Transparency. The Police Review Board and the Office of Professional Standards need to work in the public view. Public meetings should be held at convenient hours, and complainants should be able to submit grievances against the police electronically, in writing, in person, over the phone, and anonymously. The department’s website should clearly present the names of officers who have committed official misconduct.
Accountability. Police officers must be held accountable for misbehavior. The Internal Affairs Unit needs to have a fair standard for deciding whether or not an officer has violated department policy. Annual reports should be released to the public about how force is used, in what capacity, and the number of officers who regularly use force.
Contact the Cleveland Community Police Commission and urge them to stand behind our recommendations for a comprehensive new investigations policy.