Judge Nap: DOJ 'Twisted the Arm of' Cleveland Police Department
Three days after a white Cleveland police officer was acquitted of voluntary manslaughter charges in the shooting deaths of two unarmed black suspects, the city of Cleveland agreed to overhaul its police department under the supervision of a federal monitor.
The city's settlement with the Justice Department calls for new use-of-force guidelines, a focus on community engagement, accountability reforms, training on bias-free policing and a mental health advisory committee.
Judge Andrew Napolitano said on "The Real Story" that the settlement isn't the first of its kind, but it's the first of its kind with this level of detail.
"It actually expressly prohibits certain techniques that the police have been using and it appoints a monitor not to take over and run the police department, but to monitor what they're doing and inform the federal judge who's supervising all this of what he finds out," Judge Napolitano explained. "The monitor becomes the court's eyes and ears inside the police department."
Judge Napolitano explained that two major problems with the Cleveland Police Department were excessive use of force and the absence of punishment for obvious instances of excessive use of force, because the police themselves decided on violations.
"So the Justice Department persuaded - twisted the arm of, however you want to look at it - the police department to agree to an independent agency, which will evaluate police behavior," Judge Napolitano said.
"We'll see if it works, if it makes the police gun shy or if it causes the police to comply with the type of behavior one would expect of police in the modern era."
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