Cleveland, DOJ Seek Change To Consent Decree Rules For Internal Affairs Chief

Cleveland police headquarters in 2017. [Nick Castele / ideastream]
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Cleveland and the U.S. attorney’s office want to allow candidates with law enforcement backgrounds to lead the unit that investigates alleged wrongdoing by police. 

The consent decree, as it now stands, prohibits a current or retired law enforcement officer from serving as head of the internal affairs unit. The city and Justice Department filed a joint motion in federal court on Wednesday asking Judge Solomon Oliver to amend the decree.

“Between March of 2016 and May of 2017, the city advertised the position three separate times,” the filing reads. “After interviewing the most qualified candidates, the city and [Cleveland division of police] decided that none of the candidates were suitable.”

The city posted the job again without the law enforcement prohibition and now wants to hire a former county prosecutor and assistant U.S. attorney, according to the motion. The candidate was not named in the filing.

The consent decree also prevents former Cleveland police employees from leading internal affairs. That provision would not change under this proposal.

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