CLEVELAND — A federal court approved an amendment to Cleveland City Code, allowing the city to implement the changes voter approved through Issue 24.

What You Need To Know

  • The city of Cleveland and Department of Justice sought to amend the consent decree imposed on the city’s police department

  • The federal government imposed a consent decree on the Cleveland Police Department in 2015

  • The decree lays out a process for handling police accountability

  • The consent decree amendment is due to the November 2021 passage of Issue 24, which will form a Community Police Commission to handle police oversight

Last week, the Department of Justice and city of Cleveland motioned in federal court an amendment to a consent decree that governs police accountability. 

The amendment allows the city to implement Charter Section 115, which creates a new Community Police Commission, restructures the disciplinary process for police reviews, changes the review process for police training, and removes the Civilian Police Review Board from reporting to the Chief of Police or Public Safety Director. These changes directly result from the passage of Issue 24.

In 2015, the Department of Justice imposed the consent decree. The consent decree was implemented after the DOJ determined that there was a pattern of excessive force and operational and structural issues within Cleveland police. The consent decree required the police department to change its policies, practices and procedures to address these issues.

The Community Police Commission has ultimate authority over establishing the policies, applications and examinations by which new police recruits must be sought out and recruited and screened, including screening for bias, and could conduct bias screening with existing members of Cleveland police.