Cleveland Consent Decree

 

The Cleveland Consent Decree, which was entered into in May of 2015, stemmed from a 21-month long investigation that determined the Cleveland Police Department had engaged in a pattern of excessive force. As part of the Decree, the City agreed to make sweeping policy changes in how the Cleveland Police Department interacts with the community.

Read the Cleveland Consent Decree

Five years after the City of Cleveland and the US Department of Justice entered into this Consent Decree to institute changes in the Cleveland Police Department, United Way of Greater Cleveland and the Cleveland Branch of the NAACP are partnering to sponsor an 11-month series of conversations on the Consent Decree and its ramifications for our community.

Schedule of Upcoming Sessions

  • September 8 - Cleveland Police Commission and Citizen Involvement
  • October 13 - Youth and Policing
  • November 10 - Community Engagement, Recruitment and Diversity

Family Resilience

We consider it an honor and a privilege to share the stories of Craig Bickerstaff, Angelo Miller and Daniel Ficker, and we offer our humble thanks to Brenda Bickerstaff, Alicia Kirkman and Bernadette Rolen for sharing their loved ones’ stories with us.

THANK YOU TO OUR SPONSORS

Partner Sponsor

Community Supporter Sponsor

SESSION ARCHIVES

 

1: OVERVIEW OF THE CLEVELAND CONSENT DECREE

January 27, 2021

The goal of the Cleveland Consent Decree is to repair community trust and protect the constitutional rights of the people of Cleveland by

  • IDENTIFYING PROBLEMS within the Cleveland Division of Police.
  • CREATING AND IMPLEMENTING POLICIES and practices to correct those problems.
  • DEFINING CONSEQUENCES for officer and/or Cleveland Division of Police failure to follow the rules of the Consent Decree.
  • ESTABLISHING A PROCESS to monitor the Cleveland Division of Police to ensure the terms of the Consent Decree are being enforced.

In this inaugural conversation, panelists discussed the progress that has been made over the past five years and what still needs to be done to reach compliance with Consent Decree mandates.

JANUARY CONVERSATION LEADERS

Moderator:
Retired Judge Ronald Adrine

Panelists:
Calvin Williams, Chief of Police, City of Cleveland
Barbara Langhenry, Law Director, City of Cleveland
Bridget Brennan, Acting U.S. Attorney, Northern District of Ohio
Jason Goodrick, Executive Director, Cleveland Community Police Commission
Hassan Aden, Monitor, Cleveland Police Monitoring Team
Ayesha Hardaway, Deputy Monitor, Cleveland Police Monitoring Team
Danielle Sydnor, Community Volunteer

 

2: USE OF FORCE AND VEHICLE PURSUITS

February 10, 2021

Our February panel discussed the use of force within the Cleveland Division of Police. The Department of Justice acknowledges that the Cleveland Division of Police has made important changes to some of its force policies. Building on these improvements, CDP will revise, develop, and implement force policies, training, supervision, and accountability systems with the goal of ensuring that force is used in accordance with the Constitution and laws of the United States and the requirements of this Agreement and that any use of unreasonable force is promptly identified and responded to appropriately.

FEBRUARY CONVERSATION LEADERS

Moderator:
Nick Castele, Journalist & Producer, ideastream

Panelists:
Calvin Williams, Chief of Police, City of Cleveland
Dr. Ronnie Dunn, Interim Chief Diversity Officer and Associate Professor of Urban Studies, Cleveland State University
Councilman Basheer Jones, Cleveland City Council Ward 7
Lewis Katz, Co-Chair, Cleveland Police Commission
Brian Maxey, Deputy Monitor, Cleveland Police Monitoring Team

3: ACCOUNTABILITY, TRANSPARENCY & OVERSIGHT

March 10, 2021

The Cleveland Consent Decree mandates the City of Cleveland Division of Police ensure that:
• All allegations of officer misconduct are investigated
• Findings are documented in writing, and
• Officers who commit misconduct are held accountable.

Our March conversation focused on transparency within the Cleveland Division of Police and accountability measures for officer misconduct. Our panel discussed the policies that have been put in place to ensure accountability, what the Cleveland Division of Police has done to improve oversight, and what still needs to be done to increase transparency and build trust with the community.

MARCH CONVERSATION LEADERS

Moderator:
Colleen Cotter, Executive Director, The Legal Aid Society of Cleveland

Panelists:
Ayesha Hardaway, Deputy Monitor, Cleveland Police Monitoring Team
Richard Jackson, Co-Chair, Cleveland Community Police Commission and Retired Sergeant, Cleveland Division of Police
Shakyra Diaz, Managing Director of Partnerships/Ohio State Director, Alliance for Safety and Justice
Karrie Howard, Director, Department of Public Safety, City of Cleveland

4: CITIZEN COMPLAINTS AND THE OFFICE OF PROFESSIONAL STANDARDS

April 14, 2021

The Cleveland Consent Decree mandates the City of Cleveland Division of Police ensures that:
• All allegations of officer misconduct are investigated
• Findings are documented in writing, and
• Officers who commit misconduct are held accountable.

Our March conversation focused on transparency within the Cleveland Division of Police and accountability measures for officer misconduct. Our panel discussed the policies that have been put in place to ensure accountability, what the Cleveland Division of Police has done to improve oversight, and what still needs to be done to increase transparency and build trust with the community.

APRIL CONVERSATION LEADERS

Moderator:
Rick Jackson, Senior Host & Producer, ideastream

Panelists:
Roger Smith, Administrator, Office of Professional Standards
Karrie Howard, Director, Department of Public Safety, City of Cleveland
Ayesha Hardaway, Deputy Monitor, Cleveland Police Monitoring Team
Kareem Henton, Co-Founder, Black Lives Matter Cleveland Michelle Heyer, Assistant U.S. Attorney, United States Attorney’s Office

5: CRISIS INTERVENTION AND OFFICER WELLNESS

May 21, 2021

The Cleveland Consent Decree mandated that the Cleveland Division of Police build upon and improve its Crisis Intervention Program.

The Crisis Intervention Program is a first responder model of police-based crisis intervention that involves a dynamic collaboration of community, healthcare, and advocacy partnerships committed to improving the way law enforcement and the community respond to individuals in crisis. Our panel discussed efforts that can reduce the risk of serious injury or death during an emergency interaction between police officers and persons experiencing a mental health crisis.

In addition, we explored the physical rigors and stresses associated with criminal justice work and how this can result in police officers facing a variety of health issues throughout their careers. Unaddressed physical and mental health issues can take a toll on officers both on and off duty. It is therefore essential that law enforcement agencies continually promote officers’ wellness programming.

MAY CONVERSATION LEADERS

Moderator:
Harry Boomer, Anchor & Senior Reporter, Channel 19 News

Panelists:
Captain James McPike, Cleveland Division of Police
Deputy Chief Joellen O’Neill, Cleveland Division of Police
Dr. Randolph Dupont, Cleveland Monitoring Team
Bridget Brennan, Acting U.S. Attorney, Northern District of Ohio
Carole Ballard, Director of Training and Education, ADAMHS Board of Cuyahoga County
Reverend Dr. Jawanza Colvin, Pastor, Olivet Institutional Baptist Church
Rosie Palfy, Community Advocate

6: FAMILIES BUILDING RESILIENCE

June 9, 2021

Over the last year, the world has been devastated by a pandemic and acts of violence. We have watched, sometimes helplessly, as members of our families and communities have been victims of violent behaviors, including police shootings.

Cleveland families and communities impacted by such distress have found diverse ways to react to these traumatic events. Running for elected office, advocating for new legislation, creating foundations, and establishing Neighborhood Watch programs are only a few of the steps some have taken.

June’s panel shared their experiences and emotions, identified individual and community support systems, and discussed their capacity to give back when facing enormous loss.

JUNE CONVERSATION LEADERS

Panelists:

Family Members:

Brenda Bickerstaff. Ms. Bickerstaff is the sister of Craig Bickerstaff who was 27 years old when he died in 2002.
Alicia Kirkman. Ms. Kirkman is the mother of Angelo Miller who was 17 years old when he died in 2007.
Samaria Rice. Ms. Rice is the mother of Tamir Rice who was 12 years old when he died in 2014.
Bernadette Rolen. Ms. Rolen is the mother of Daniel Ficker who was 27 years old when he died in 2011.

Dr. Victoria Winbush, Professor of Social Work, Cleveland State University

Moderator:
Rick Jackson, Senior Host & Producer, ideastream

We offer our humble thanks to Brenda Bickerstaff, Alicia Kirkman and Bernadette Rolen for sharing their loved ones’ stories with us.

Read Stories from the Families Here

7: BIAS-FREE POLICING & RACIAL PROFILING

July 14, 2021

The Consent Decree mandated that the Cleveland Division of Police integrate bias-free policing principles into its management, policies and procedures, job descriptions, recruitment, training, personnel evaluations, resource deployment, and accountability.

Officer training includes understanding the negative impact of racial or ethnic profiling, identifying personal bias, and ways to reduce the harmful impact of bias. Supervisors are also trained on how to identify bias when reviewing officer stops, arrests and use of force data.

The objective is to deliver police services equitably, respectfully and free of unlawful bias, and in a way that promotes broad community engagement and confidence in CDP, and without discrimination based on race, ethnicity, national origin, religion, gender, disability, age, sexual orientation or gender identity.

Our July panelists reviewed what has been done to accomplish this objective and what work still remains to build trust within the community.

JULY CONVERSATION LEADERS

Moderator:

Russ Mitchell, 3News Anchor & Managing Editor, WKYC News

Panelists:

Calvin Williams, Chief of Police, City of Cleveland
Karrie Howard, Director, Department of Public Safety, City of Cleveland
Rick DeChant, Executive Director, Cleveland Police Foundation
Ayesha Hardaway, Associate Professor of Law, Case Western Reserve University School of Law
Brian Maxey, Deputy Monitor, Cleveland Police Monitoring Team
Charmin Leon, Commissioner, Cleveland Community Police Commission
David Lima, Leadership Team, Show Up for Racial Justice

8: SEARCH & SEIZURE

August 11, 2021

The Consent Decree mandated that the Cleveland Division of Police (CDP) conduct all investigatory stops, searches, and arrests fairly and respectfully as part of an effective overall crime prevention strategy that takes into account community values. CDP will continue to limit vehicle pursuits to those in which the need to capture the suspect outweighs the danger to the public. CDP will also continue to limit the number of CDP vehicles that may be involved in a vehicle pursuit.

Our August conversation reviewed what has been done to accomplish this objective.

AUGUST CONVERSATION LEADERS

Moderator:

Lee Fisher, Dean, Cleveland-Marshall College of Law

Panelists:

Calvin Williams, Chief of Police, City of Cleveland

Gordon Friedman, Commissioner, Cleveland Police Commission

Karrie Howard, Director, Department of Public Safety, City of Cleveland

Ayesha Hardaway, Deputy Monitor, Cleveland Police Monitoring Team

James Hardiman, Civil Rights Attorney

This 11-month virtual event series is complimentary and open to the public. The 2021 initiative is part of United Way of Greater Cleveland’s Public Policy Agenda to advocate, convene and support issues that impact Greater Cleveland. The series is possible through partnership with The City Club of Cleveland