DOJ reaches settlement with Cleveland over police conduct

Settlement comes only days after judge found Cleveland police officer Brelo not guilty for the deaths of two unarmed African Americans

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

Updated Jul 28, 2015

The US Justice Department and the city of Cleveland have reportedly reached a settlement over the conduct of the city’s police officers, the New York Times reported on Monday.

The settlement came days after a judge found a white Cleveland police officer not guilty in the shooting deaths of an unarmed black man and a woman in 2012. The verdict on Saturday set off anger and prompted protests that led to at least 71 arrests.

Michael Brelo (31) was charged with the deaths of Malissa Williams and Timothy Russell after he fired 15 rounds into their windshield, standing on the hood of their car after it stopped following a police chase.

According to the paper, the settlement could be announced as early as Tuesday.

It also reported that the details of the settlement were not immediately clear.

The trial comes amid a national outcry over police conduct and US law enforcement’s use of lethal force against minority groups.

Last year saw the deaths of unarmed black men during confrontations with police in Ferguson, Missouri, New York City, Baltimore and elsewhere which spawned protests and occasional violent outbursts across the United States.

The Justice Department in a December report found that Cleveland’s Police Department systematically engages in excessive use of force against civilians.

The report found that supervisors tolerated and in some cases endorsed the use of unnecessary or unreasonable force.

Just days before the report was released, a Cleveland police officer shot and killed Tamir Rice - a 12-year old boy who was holding a pellet gun - and 37-year-old Tanisha Anderson, a mentally ill woman in distress who died after officers tackled her to the ground and handcuffed her.

TRTWorld and agencies