CPC’s Statement on Tragic Loss of Tamia Chappman and CDP Officer

The CPC extends their condolences to the affected families and will be holding a special meeting for the Cleveland community to talk about recent events

For Immediate Release:
December 27, 2019

(CLEVELAND, OH) — The CPC is closely monitoring developments surrounding the vehicle pursuit on Friday, December 20 th that ended with the tragic loss of 13 year old Tamia Chappman’s life. We are also aware that on December 23 rd an officer who may have been on the scene reportedly took their own life. The CPC strongly believes both of these tragedies were preventable.

First and foremost our thoughts are with the families of both Tamia and the officer during this difficult time. We work closely with families who have faced similar traumas and empathize with the journey ahead of them. The CPC is unique in Cleveland. We are comprised of both officers and civilians who together serve as a conduit for community healing and the police reform process. We host difficult conversations, which lead to changes after a crisis such as this one. Empowered by the Consent Decree it is our intent to carry forward the community’s reform recommendations in the areas of police pursuits, use of force and officer wellness to the Chief of Police and other city leadership.

We understand this is a developing situation and an investigation is ongoing. We call upon the City to ensure a timely and thorough investigation into both deaths is conducted. We also call upon the newly appointed Inspector General to take an active lead in ensuring the integrity of these investigations. This includes guaranteeing that an investigation considers both the lawfulness of all officers’ involved actions as well adherence to the pursuit policy, internal affairs policy and critical incident stress response policy.

Nationwide police vehicle pursuits have taken thousands of innocent lives. Pursuits and traffic related cases are also the leading cause of on-duty death and injury of officers. These trends continue to increase. Locally, over the past two years, the issue of costly and tragic pursuits has been raised by the CPC, activists, media, city council persons, the NAACP and others. The 2015 Consent Decree states: “CDP will continue to limit vehicle pursuits to those in which the need to capture the suspect outweighs the danger.” In January the CPC will form a working group to review the Division’s 2015 Vehicle Pursuits policy and make additional recommendations to ensure that future reforms meet the standards set forth in the Consent Decree. This work will include further defining when, if ever, the citizens of Cleveland feel it is appropriate for a vehicle pursuit to occur.

Officer wellness and critical incident response have been a continuous part of our work over the past five years. For the last three years police suicides have outnumbered in the line of duty deaths in the United States. The CPC is also committed to re-visiting all of its past recommendations surrounding officer wellness, suicide prevention and officer mental health in 2019.

The citizens of Cleveland have a voice through our work. The CPC will be conducting a special meeting on January 16 th at 6 p.m. where Clevelanders can come together and talk about these recent events. We will be providing updates on the event’s location and other information via our Facebook and Twitter accounts and at http://www.clecpc.org. We encourage all who are interested in improving police services and preventing future tragedies like these to join us. You can also reach a staff member to share your thoughts by emailing info@clecpc.org or calling 216-505-5920.


About the Cleveland Community Police Commission (CPC)

The CPC was established in 2015 as part of the consent decree between the City of Cleveland and the U.S. Department of Justice. The 13 commissioners of the CPC work with the community to make recommendations on policies and practices to help strengthen relationships between officers and the communities they serve. The CPC’s website: www.clecpc.org


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