Mayor Jackson holds lengthy open discussion on Dept of Justice r - Cleveland 19 News Cleveland, OH

Mayor Jackson holds lengthy open discussion on Dept of Justice report

Mayor Jackson holds open discussion on Department of Justice report. (Source: WOIO) Mayor Jackson holds open discussion on Department of Justice report. (Source: WOIO)
Mayor Jackson holds open discussion on Department of Justice report. (Source: WOIO) Mayor Jackson holds open discussion on Department of Justice report. (Source: WOIO)
It's been one week since the attorney general released a scathing report on the Cleveland Police Department.

Today, Mayor Frank Jackson made his first extensive comments about the findings.

"We as a city really think this is a great opportunity so we're we're not adverse at all to the Department of Justice coming in," said Mayor Jackson.

He addressed questions for more than 90 minutes on a wide range of topics, all relating to the use of force by Cleveland Police. Nearly all of the data was gathered before the shooting of Tamir Rice. The mayor says the use of deadly force is on the decline, but more needs to be done.

"I believe individuals make decisions in the Division of Police throughout the Division and people should be held accountable for those decisions if in fact those decisions were not done according to training," said Mayor Jackson.

The mayor does not hold Former Chief McGrath or Former Safety Director Martin Flask responsible, and rejects a call for their removal.

"I have confidence in their in terms of their attempt to do what needed to be done."

He believes that the Department of Justice should do an even more comprehensive review of everyone dealing with police discipline, including prosecutors who don't prosecute when the city finds wrongdoing and especially arbitrators.

"When we do discipline people and when we do attempt to hold people accountable they go to an arbitrator, the arbitrator overturns it."

The mayor likened the DOJ report to an audit. 

"If the bottom line doesn't add up that is one thing. Identifying systemic issues that led to the incorrect bottom line is another."

Particularly troubling to the mayor is a portion of the report that quotes the officers who investigate other officers as saying their goal is to cast any accused officer in the best light possible.

"If in fact that turns out to be true we'll do what's appropriate but we're not accepting it just because the DOJ said it," concluded Mayor Jackson.

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