CPC Analyzes Federal Monitor’s Recent Consent Decree Compliance Report

Assessment shows little progress made by the City over the course of one year

For Immediate Release
October 13, 2022

Contact 
Lewis Katz, CPC Co-Chair
216-339-1766, lrk@case.edu

Contact 
Lewis Katz, CPC Co-Chair
216-339-1766, lrk@case.edu

Today, the Community Police Commission (CPC) released its fourth “Quantification Report” in its ongoing effort to help the Cleveland community understand the progress the City of Cleveland has made towards Consent Decree compliance.

In its report, the CPC developed a numeric scoring system to show the City’s compliance status, with numbers based on the Monitoring Team’s status summaries described in their semiannual reports.

By quantifying the Monitoring Team’s assessments, and assigning the progress made in each Consent Decree paragraph with a number, it’s the CPC’s goal in this report to provide the citizens of Cleveland an additional way to understand the Monitor’s reports, and to more easily track overall progress and see how much work remains. Key areas assessed for compliance include: Accountability, Use of Force, Community & Problem Oriented Policing (CPOP), and Crisis Intervention.



The CPC’s Quantification Report assessed the Monitor’s findings in their Eleventh Semiannual Report.

Main takeaways in the CPC’s report:

– Compliance increased 1.3% between the publication of the Monitor’s Tenth and Eleventh Semiannual Reports. The Tenth report assessed the timeframe of January 2021 – June 2021, and the Eleventh report assessed the timeframe of January 2022 – June 2022.

 

– In the current reporting period, the City has made 42% overall progress towards full compliance.

 

CPC Statements & News

CPC statement on City’s decision to not appeal arbitration decision

For Immediate Release
August 2, 2022

Contact 
Jason Goodrick, Executive Director
216-505-5920
jgoodrick@clecpc.org

Contact 
Jason Goodrick, Executive Director
216-505-5920
jgoodrick@clecpc.org

We stand by Monitor Hassan Aden that officer Mason Swires should remain terminated from the force and the city administration should pursue all avenues possible in ensuring that happens.

Following an investigation, Director Howard found the officer lied to investigators about fleeing the scene of an accident he was involved in with an RTA bus and failed to report the crash to a supervisor.

Officer integrity is essential to Constitutional policing and key to building trust in the community. We support the Monitor’s statement that officers who are found to be dishonest are held accountable.

 

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CPC Statements & News

CPC Analyzes Agreements Between City and Nine Other Police Departments related to the Consent Decree

Assessment finds spotty compliance with agreements and lack of city oversight

For Immediate Release
June 14, 2022

Contact 
Lewis Katz, CPC Commissioner, Co-Chair
216-339-1766
lkatz@clecpc.org

In 2018, City officials amended agreements called Memoranda of Understanding (MOU) with nine separate police agencies who have arrest power in Cleveland. The updated documents outlined changes the departments will make to ensure constitutional policing under the Consent Decree is more consistent in Cleveland.

The agreements are all up for renewal by City Council this year. Some of the departments, such as University Circle and Case Western Reserve University, have already requested Council grant them additional authority in the renewals. Today, the Community Police Commission (CPC) Outside Affiliates Work Group released its review of the Memoranda of Understanding (MOU) to give the public an understanding of how well these agencies honored their previous commitments.

As the CPC is concerned with issues relevant to the Consent Decree, this assessment focused on three main areas to determine MOU compliance: 1. use of force and vehicle pursuit policy, 2. training and 3. the establishment of a civilian administered complaint board. These were common elements in all nine agreements.

The result of this initial analysis suggests that most of the smaller police departments in Cleveland are in partial compliance with their obligations under their MOUs, with only one of the nine departments in full compliance. One area of significant concern is accountability and the process of receiving and investigating citizen complaints. Although agreed to in 2018, many of the civilian complaint boards were established only after the CPC began requesting MOU information and records in 2020.

“It was clear that CDP gave the nine private police departments authority to police substantial areas of the city, but then failed to check whether the nine police departments had met their responsibilities under the Consent Decree,” says CPC Commissioner and work group chairperson Lewis Katz.

The smaller departments in Cleveland themselves are not directly under the Consent Decree or the new provisions of Charter Amendment 115 that Cleveland voters put into place in November 2021. These smaller police departments are however subject to the authority of the City of Cleveland when it comes to many of their policing powers, and City Council can hold them accountable to the goals and objectives outlined in the MOUs, which bring them in line with the spirit of the Consent Decree. 

The City of Cleveland is the governing body in Cleveland, so it has authority to grant or remove policing powers to many smaller police departments operating in Cleveland within limitations of state law.

The CPC has made several recommendations in its assessment for both the City of Cleveland and the police agencies to consider to better ensure each department’s policies and practices are consistent with their MOUs and city wide guidelines.

The CPC’s full assessment and recommendations can be found on the CPC website at: bit.ly/MOU-Report-2022

CPC Statements & News

CPC Releases Police Surveillance Technology Recommendations

Recommendations outline a model to create a consistent, inclusive process of implementing new technologies in Cleveland

For Immediate Release:
May 9, 2022

The Community Police Commission (CPC) Technology Committee today released its Initial Report and Recommendations on Cleveland’s Emerging Police Surveillance Technology.

Committee members, composed of law professors from Cleveland State and Case Western Reserve, representatives from the ACLU and NAACP, Public Defenders and activists, met several times in 2022 to discuss citizens’ concerns about police surveillance technologies. The goal: to determine a recommended course of action to protect privacy and simultaneously improve public safety.

The CPC understands the importance of creating safe neighborhoods and reducing crime and has no position on the technology itself. However, how we select, test and utilize new technologies matters.

“If there are no standards and policies regarding police surveillance and the advancement of tech today, such as facial recognition and use of drones,” says CPC Commissioner and committee chairperson Gordon Friedman, “police tech will take us beyond 1984 and into the Twilight Zone of repression.”

Currently, there is no official decision making process or known police policies regarding the adoption of new surveillance technology in Cleveland.

The CPC’s proposed recommendations are based on that of the City of Oakland, California where, similar to Cleveland, has experienced a complicated relationship between its citizens and its police force. There, the people of Oakland and its police force were able to come together and find a way to manage the adaptation of new technology so that citizens’ privacy rights are protected.

We strongly encourage the City’s leadership to consider the committee’s recommendations which would increase citizen’s trust and confidence in the City of Cleveland and CDP while simultaneously implementing tools to assist in addressing crime.

The CPC’s recommendations can be found on the CPC website at: https://clecpc.org/wp-content/uploads/CPC-Initial-Report-and-Recommendations-on-Clevelands-Emerging-Police-Surveillance-Technology-May-2022.pdf.

CPC Statements & News

CPC Publishes 2021 Annual Report

For Immediate Release:
April 5, 2022

The Community Police Commission (CPC) today released its 2021 Annual Report which can be found on the Commission’s website at clecpc.org/our-work. The report highlights the CPC’s work over the past year and outlines the changes happening soon to the CPC as it transitions to be a permanently established, independent oversight body as a result of a civilian-led initiative, Issue 24, last November.

A special section of the report includes details from the CPC’s research project titled, “100 Years of Police Reform Project.” This comprehensive project looks back through dozens of police reform documents, commissions, studies and reports published in the time period of 1922 – 2022 that show long-term, lasting change to police culture in Cleveland has been short lived and unsustainable. The evidence-based lessons learned through this research will provide a roadmap for the next iteration of this commission to navigate future reform efforts.

Looking to the future, CPC Co-Chair Lewis Katz says, “With the wisdom of the past, a new mayor and potentially new police leadership, hopefully we will see great leaps forward in police reform this year. After all the goals remain the same: effective policing that respects the constitution and achieving greater safety for all residents. The CPC continues to pledge towards the achievement of those goals.”

The CPC’s 2021 Annual Report in a pdf format is available here. Print copies of the report will be mailed to our community partners and stakeholders. Contact us at info@clecpc.org or 216-505-5920 to request a print copy of the report.

CPC Statements & News

CPC Launches Online Educational Resource About History of Cleveland Police Reforms

February 16, 2022

Last November, Clevelanders prioritized public safety and police reform when they adopted Issue 24 and Elected Mayor Justin Bibb. As Mayor Bibb moves forward with his plans to implement Issue 24 and increase public safety. His office recently released a transition plan addressing, “a need for increased awareness centered around community safety and the role of first responders.”

Today, the Community Police Commission (CPC) launched an educational resource on its website to help achieve this goal. Entitled the “100 Years Project”, our program aims to enhance the dialogue of safety and the role of policing in the future by closely examining the past. The “100 Years Project” is now live on the CPC’s website at clecpc.org/100-years-project and dives deep into the city of Cleveland’s police reform efforts over the past 100 years.

Recommendations for how to make the Cleveland Division of Police more responsive to crime and the needs of community can be found as far back as 1922 when the Cleveland Foundation first studied this issue. The foundation released a groundbreaking report that year calling for major changes to the way police conducted its business and tackled a growing crime problem in Cleveland.

In the decades since, dozens of reports have followed which contained hundreds of recommendations that have gone largely ignored or have brought only short lasting results to the Cleveland Division of Police.

“Moving forward requires us to look back and examine why police reform over 100 years hasn’t been sustainable.” says CPC Commissioner LaToya Logan, who helped champion this project.

Persistent problems with high crime that ran concurrently with biased policing, police brutality, police misconduct, community trust, and officer morale have all been well documented decades before the DOJ investigated the Cleveland Division of Police in 2014 which led to the current Consent Decree.

By looking into Cleveland’s past, the CPC hopes to help the community gain a better understanding of what policing practices have been successful, what issues exist, and what lessons still need to be learned to move forward in creating a more sustainable policing model for the future. This will help us achieve the Mayor’s goal of a safer Cleveland for everyone.

The project is organized chronologically and by topic in a way that community members can easily access information. It will be continuously updated as research continues. The CPC encourages all interested individuals and organizations to join the CPC in taking a deeper dive into this information. Contact CPC Senior Policy Analyst, Ryan Walker, at rwalker@clecpc.org to get involved.

CPC Statements & News

CPC Congratulates Mayor-Elect Justin Bibb

November 5, 2021

The Cleveland Community Police Commission congratulates Mayor-Elect Justin Bibb on his historic win. The members of the existing Commission and its staff are excited for the future of Cleveland and are committed to continuing the reform efforts started by the Consent Decree. We stand ready to assist Mayor-Elect Bibb in any way we can as he builds his transition plan and works towards implementation of Issue 24.


Cleveland Community Police Commission

CPC Statements & News

CPC to Survey Cleveland Community about Police Interactions

For Immediate Release:
September 27, 2021

(CLEVELAND, OH) — What are your experiences with policing in Cleveland? The Community Police Commission (CPC) seeks to find out through a survey that asks anyone who lives, works, or visits the city of Cleveland about their interactions with Cleveland Division of Police (CDP) officers. CDP employees are also encouraged to complete the survey.

The CPC’s Community Satisfaction Survey is available online at: www.surveymonkey.com/r/cpc-css-2021, and has been mailed this month to a random sampling of 4,700 households in Cleveland.

“The community’s voice is what matters the most when evaluating police reform,” says CPC Commissioner LaToya Logan. “The Commission’s survey asks about policies and procedures, but most importantly, it asks about police interactions with the community.”

In the six years the city of Cleveland has been under a Consent Decree with the US Department of Justice (DOJ), many updates to written CDP policies and procedures have been made. The goal of the survey is to help the CPC assess if CDP training on these changes has been noticed in practice by the community.

This is the second annual Community Satisfaction Survey conducted by the CPC, which was developed in 2020 with the assistance of the Tesser Group, a data analytics firm. The findings of the 2020 community survey and future surveys will help the CPC and citizens of Cleveland in tracking overall progress of police reform in the city.

Ways to Complete the 2021 Community Survey:

  • Call (216) 505-5920 or email info@clecpc.org to request a paper copy of the survey, or download a pdf of the survey here.
    Completed surveys can be returned by mail or hand delivered to the CPC’s office at:
    3631 Perkins Avenue, 3rd Floor, Cleveland, Ohio 44114

The deadline to submit feedback in the survey is October 31, 2021. A report of survey findings will be released in early 2022, if not earlier on the CPC’s website. For questions or more information, please contact the Community Police Commission at (216) 505-5920 or info@clecpc.org.


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CPC Statements & News

CPC Statement on Justice for Desmond Franklin

July 30, 2021

At this moment our thoughts are with the family of Desmond Franklin, who was killed by an off duty Cleveland police officer on April 9th 2020. Today would have been his 24th birthday. We believe justice has still not been served. For his birthday this year, we call upon the Cuyahoga County Prosecutor to reopen the case and ensure that all evidence is presented to the Grand Jury fairly and as the law prescribes.

The conflicting information provided by witnesses, including a young man who was with Desmond when he was killed, lead us to believe that our justice system did not work as designed in this case. There is a need for additional analyses of the videos of the encounter between the two cars and of the off-duty police officer’s 911 call.

Expert analyses can determine the timing of the call, the five shots fired by the off-duty officer, and the likelihood that Desmond was facing the officer when he was struck by a bullet from the off-duty officer’s gun. Justice must be based upon expert and impartial analyses and not conclusions reached by the presenting prosecutors based upon the prior illegal conduct of Desmond and his companion.

If the analysis has already been conducted, then transparency is lacking. If Desmond and his friend stole two cases of Faygo, they deserved to be prosecuted. However, theft is not a capital offense, and Desmond did not deserve to die as a result of an error in judgement. The community needs to be satisfied that Desmond’s death was not the result of an unfortunate encounter with an off-duty police officer who overreacted and used excessive force.

Reopening the case and providing transparency to the public until its conclusion is the best course of action to rebuild trust in the process of justice.


The Cleveland Community Police Commission

CPC Statements & News

CPC Requests Independent Investigation into the Police Shooting Death of Arthur Keith

The following letter was sent via U.S. mail and email on July 16, 2021.

Friday, July 16, 2021

Kristen Clarke
Assistant Attorney General
United States Department of Justice Civil Rights Division,
Special Litigation Section
950 Pennsylvania Ave. NW, Washington, D.C. 20530

Bridget M. Brennan
Acting U.S. Attorney Office of the United States Attorney
801 West Superior Avenue, Suite 400
Cleveland, OH 44113-1852


Dear Ms. Clarke and Ms. Brennan,

On November 13, 2020, a police officer employed by the Cleveland Metropolitan Police Department in front of the King-Kennedy housing complex shot and killed Arthur Keith, a former resident of the housing complex. Mr. Keith was shot in the back as he fled from the police.

An investigation of the homicide was conducted by the Cleveland Division of Police. Evidence was presented to a Cuyahoga County Grand Jury by a representative of the Ohio Attorney General who recommended to the grand jury that they return a NO Bill in the case. The only witness to appear at the grand jury was the officer who shot Mr. Keith. According to Attorney General Yost, no other witnesses were found. Moreover, the only video released by the Attorney General or the CDP or CMHAPD did not include the actual shooting.

Newspaper reports since the shooting have quoted local youthful residents who claimed to witness the shooting and tell a different story from the version told by the officer who killed Mr. Keith and which was repeated by the Ohio Attorney General. The Director of the Boys and Girls Club at King-Kennedy, Mr. Richard Starr, has told the co-chair of the Cleveland Community Police Commission that the youths who witnessed the shooting were never interviewed by investigating police officers nor the representatives of the Ohio Attorney General. Mr. Starr reported that the youths’ account of the shooting is opposite of the official version offered by the Ohio Attorney General, CDP and CMHAPD representatives.

Further, in a lawsuit brought by Ideastream Public Media to obtain video of the shooting, CMHAPD did not respond that the video over the spot of the shooting was inoperable nor that they had no dash cam footage. They only requested a delay.

THEREFORE, the Cleveland Community Police Commission believes that the investigation into the death of Arthur Keith was woefully inadequate and resulted in a denial of Mr. Keith and of Mr. Keith’s family’s civil rights. The Commission respectfully requests that the U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Ohio and the Department of Justice initiate an independent investigation of the killing of Arthur Keith and the investigation of such killing.

Sincerely,

The Cleveland Community Police Commission

CPC Statements & News