Cleveland Police: Next Steps

Cleveland Police: Next Steps

Andrew Samtoy
on Jan 26, 2015

If you've heard about the Cleveland Police recently, it probably has to do with the deaths of Tamir Rice and Tanisha Anderson137 Shots, or the Justice Department findings of a "pattern or practice of the use of excessive force" by officers in the police department.  The Chief of Police has said that he has to get rid of some of the "bad cops" on the force, and the Cleveland City Council put together a listening tour to hear resident concerns.  

At the same time, much of the discussion has been about what has happened, with less of an emphasis on what is to come.  I sat down in December and took a look at the changes other police departments have made after the Justice Department said that they had a pattern or practice of the use of excessive force.  

Conversation Starter

We're curious to hear from you.  What changes need to be made in the Cleveland Police Department to make sure it serves the city and its citizens without engaging in a "pattern or practice of the use of excessive force"?  

Participants (21) See All

What do you think?

Anonymous
on 2017-07-22T04:46:47+00:00
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Hello Andrew:  Thank you for the invitation.  We hear alot about change but usually from one side of the same coin.  I believe change is a wonderful thing and I know it is possible but change has to occur for everyone committed to change.  As a victim of police brutality in 1984, I have personally and up close experienced it.  However, it was at the hands of three Black policemen who assaulted me in a precinct in an all black neighborhood and my rescuers were white policemen who saved me from the attacks of Leroy Merriweather; the late James Burton and Eugene Guyton who may still be on the force, God forbid.  Hopefully, my assault had some modicum of change under the leadership of the late Chief Reginald Turner but "old habits" are hard to break.  Black policemen can be and often are as racist and disrespectful to citizens as some white policemen.  It is not the color of one's skin that determines his or her character, it is the condition of one's heart and evil can reside in all of us if not regulated by love of God and respect for other people.  I would like to propose a novel idea to promote better relations between the police and the people regardless of their color and/or gender.  Its called "mentoring."  If 'each one reach one' in a mentoring relationship, the police and the people would get to know each other and better understand each other's role in the community.  I call it the "Adopt-A-COP" community initiative.  So lets start a conversation about that.  Thank you.

 
Joane Johnson
on Dec 18, 2015 - 9:44 am

I am sick to death of hearing the Tamir case is about money.  really?  Are you kidding me.  If it were about money, all thye have to do is sue the city, period.  this is about the loss of a child.  My 'child' is now 42.  He is a college graduate, married with one 4 year old daughter.  Has a great job in computer graphics.  Yet, he was stopped and ID'd by the same white cop up to 4 times a week in his then, predominantly white neighborhood near Old brooklyn.  Walking out of his home.  walking into his home.  driving on Spring Hills to and from work or school.  If something had happened to my son behind this BS, do you really think money would be the rwason for my rage?  Really?  You insult the black community.  i am getting nothing but I do have brains enough to know it was NOT a good shoot.  Even my police officer brother-in-law said it wasn't and the wild wild west shoot out wasn't either.  The man was not qualified to be a police officer, carry a gun per Independence and other jurisdictions.  How can it be a good shoot when he was not qualified psychologically.  Crying on the shooting range.  Shaking on the shooting range but it is a good shoot?  As for deWine, really?  The one who called the Beavercreek shooting, just,  five minutes after it happened, sight unseen.  I know, I watched it real time.  Five minutes.   A man picking up a BB gun out of the rack, walkinging around the store with the barrell pointed down and talking on a cell phone at the same time.  They shot him because a white bigot lied on the phone Nans=d said he did on the phone.  All on line.  Look it up.  It's amazing you you people, especially on the Sound of Ideas round up , today seem to not get that idea.   Just for money?  How dare you!!  Maybe when you pay yourselves out of into bankruptcy you will get a clue.  I doubt it because since the first slave brought here, black lives have NEVER mattered and still don't.

 

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Expand This Thread
mario lanza
on Oct 12, 2015 - 2:35 pm

Officer Herrera (quoted on NPR show "Here and Now" today) seems impossibly backward, doesn't he?  It's clearly naive to think that as a Hispanic, he is still part of the same community that everyone else is part of.  It's clear that what people want is a return to "separate but equal."  Just done fifteen different ways, to honor all the different ways people are different and separate.  So it seems to me the only rational solution from the point of view of the author/editor is to instruct the police dispatcher to quiz callers on their race/ethnicity and hold off dispatching an officer until one of similar race/gender can be found.  Interesting, we used to have such a system, I guess the idea is to go back to that and then do it for every conceivable "difference" that we can list.  Hire separate police forces for each so that everyone is understood.  Or maybe the problem is just the horrible effects of being a police officer has on the officer's humanity...we just need fewer cops, because cops are usually the problem.  In the meantime, when a woman calls, we wait until they can find a woman police officer.  Same with anyone else, you just say what you are and then they will send you one of "yours."  Because MLK was wrong, that's the idea here, isn't it?  Well, I have to go check with my chinese wife on which officer we should hold out for, Italian American or Chinese American when we are mugged or get pulled over.  I'll be sure to do my part to make it easy and not ask for someone from Naples, there are way more Sicilians here, we'll just make do.  But how to choose?  Flip a coin?  Take turns?

 
Brian Cummins
on Jan 31, 2015 - 11:14 pm

Next Steps?  Long arduous work of: involving the broad community directly in the reform; hammering out the consent decree; translating police reform best practices to our own unique circumstances here in Cleveland; and, implementing the reform and ensuring what is done can be sustained through buy-in by all involved.  

There is a lot at stake and the problems are as deep as they are wide.  I have hope that it will bring our diverse community members together and we'll be stronger and safer for the efforts.  Grateful for those I've met in the process so far.  The sense of urgency and need for action and change is blunted by legal and bureaucratic wrangling.  There are lots of people doing lots of things and I'm encouraged we'll see progress soon. 

 
Angie Schmitt
on Jan 30, 2015 - 11:32 am

In all seriousness: HOUSECLEANING. 

 
Tracy Moavero
on Jan 29, 2015 - 10:19 pm

I was disapointed to get a mailed invitation to a listening event on the day of the event. That sends a negative message about how well these are being run. The "I suport the police" lawn signs the department is promoting aren't helpful either. I am hardly anti-police, but I think the timing of pushing those signs is, at a minimum, tone-deaf. Put the effort into building bridges, not division.

 
Jene Wilson
on Jan 29, 2015 - 5:00 pm

I think the training needs to be changed so that it emphasizes being proactive and learning how to assess and diffuse situations, rather than shoot first and ask questions later.  The police need to be the adults in all situations, the ones with the cool heads.  While, of course, they need to be concerned about their own safety, they need to think about protecting and serving the people they are charged with taking care of.  It's like being a special ed teacher - I know kids with disabilities can have behavior challenges and may sometimes hit, kick, bite, etc.  In those situations, I better be the one who comes out with bruises, not the child.   The police need to use proactive, non-violent strategies and rarely take their guns out.

 
Doug Fabens
on Jan 27, 2015 - 5:05 pm

Everything they don't want to do… that. - More specifically, recruiting in "minority" communities and engagement with all segments of those communities… off duty, out of uniform, off-the-clock… so they know you (CPD) are sincere… in schools, in churches, in rec centers (there was once a substation at Cudell, I'm told… was it too successful?)… in bars, and barbershops and beauty shops… WALKING & sitting and chatting… not cruising past in an up-armored police car wearing military-style sunglasses & bristling with weaponry. Not easy by any means. Prolly not much fun & possibly dangerous at times… but in some years of diligence, it'll bring about the sea-change that's wanted.