Cleveland mayor writes letter addressing DOJ investigation

Cleveland mayor writes letter addressing DOJ investigation

has written a letter regarding how the city's ability to overcome challenges has been overshadowed by recent events, including a report released by the


Jackson first addresses how the city contacted the DOJ in 2012 to review the city's policy governing use of force, after a deadly police chase and shooting on Nov. 29, 2012. He explains how the city welcomes the review so it can make necessary changes to improve the Cleveland Division of Police.

The investigation was not completed until Dec. 4, 2014. Two days earlier, the city and DOJ entered into a "Joint Statement of Principles" agreement, which states "the parties have agreed to begin negotiations with the intentions of reaching a court-enforceable settlement agreement." One of the terms "will include a provision for an outside independent monitor to ensure continued compliance."

While in the negotiation period, the city is reviewing the DOJ's findings to determine which areas it finds in agreement. Once areas are agreed upon, the city will enter into a consent decree. So far, several meetings have been held, and more are scheduled.

Meanwhile, Jackson says the city is identifying areas that can be changed before the settlement. 

"Although we invited and welcomed the DOJ investigation, the DOJ's investigation and findings report on police practices does not look far enough into the criminal justice system. The review should be broadened to include the criminal justice system as a whole, to determine if there is disparity, or a pattern of practice of Constitution violation," the mayor writes. "The review should include who gets arrested, who gets charged, what they are charged with, who gets indicted, what cases are brought to the grand jury, and what sentences are being imposed in court."

Jackson wants to make clear that he applauds the men and women who serve and protect the city of Cleveland. He says this letter is not a form of indictment, but rather a reminder to those who do not follow policies and use poor judgement, that they will be held accountable for their actions, and terminated if necessary.

Jackson says he welcomes the opportunity to change "inadequacies" in the department.

The letter ends with "Change can only happen if we remove the fog of confusion and the noise of chaos. In order to make our city great, we must secure the constitution privileges of every citizen and Cleveland police officer."

Read the full letter here.

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