Federal judge approves agreement between Justice Department, Cleveland on police reforms

CLEVELAND – A federal judge has approved an agreement between Cleveland and the U.S. Department of Justice aimed at reforming the city’s troubled police department.

U.S. District Judge Solomon Oliver Jr. said Friday at a hearing that police officers and citizens alike should embrace the agreement as a means to keep the city safe. He emphasized that training of officers will be key.

The city and DOJ spent five months negotiating the consent decree after the DOJ issued a report in December that said an investigation had found a pattern and practice of Cleveland police officers using excessive force and violating people’s civil rights. An independent monitor who answers to Oliver must be hired within 90 days to oversee how the agreement is implemented.