Judge extends Cleveland police reform deal for 2 more years

CLEVELAND (AP) — The Cleveland Police Department will continue to be overseen by a federal monitor for at least two more years.

U.S. District Judge Solomon Oliver decided Thursday to extend the consent decree the city has been under since 2015, rejecting Cleveland’s attempt to end it. Citing the latest semiannual report issued by the independent monitoring team and other information, Oliver said it was clear the city has made substantial progress but “has not yet achieved substantial and effective compliance at this time.”

The city and the U.S. Justice Department reached an agreement on reforms in late 2014 after a Justice Department investigation found that Cleveland police officers had engaged in a pattern or practice of using excessive force and violating people’s civil rights.

Whenever the judge finds the city is fully compliant with the consent decree, it will trigger a two-year probationary phase, meaning the consent decree will remain in effect in some measure until at least 2026.

The latest semiannual report, released last month, found the police department still has difficulty holding officers accountable and meeting standards spelled out in the consent decree. It found “significant and critical areas” where the department remains in noncompliance, including accountability, community relations and staffing.

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