Cleveland policing reforms could be 'national model'

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Cleveland Policing Reforms Could Be 'National Model'

Days after a Cleveland police officer shot and killed 12-year-old Tamir Rice, the Justice Department released a report saying Cleveland police had a pattern of using "unnecessary and excessive deadly force" that violated its citizens' civil rights.

Now federal and city officials have reached an agreement on some of the strictest police reforms in the nation, potentially setting a bar for departments across the country.

"To announce what I agree is a historic agreement that will transform the way the city of Cleveland is policed for years and years to come," said U.S. Attorney Steven Dettelbach of the Northern District of Ohio.

The deal calls for more training and accountability for police, which lines up with demands of protesters Saturday who were angry after a judge found a Cleveland police officer not guilty of manslaughter in the shooting of two unarmed suspects in 2012.

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Cleveland policing reforms could be 'national model'
CLEVELAND, OH - MAY 23: Protestors march across the Detroit Superior Bridge as people take to the streets and protest in reaction to Cleveland police officer Michael Brelo being acquitted of manslaughter charges after he shot two people at the end of a 2012 car chase in which officers fired 137 shots May 23, 2015 in Cleveland, Ohio. After leading police on a 20-mile chase, Timothy Russell and Malissa Williams were shot dead after Officer Brelo jumped onto the hood of the car and unleashing a fatal barrage of gunfire. on May 23, 2015 in Cleveland, Ohio.
CLEVELAND, OH - MAY 23: Tanis Quach, of Cleveland, protests in front of the Justice Building. People take to the streets and protest in reaction to Cleveland police officer Michael Brelo being acquitted of manslaughter charges after he shot two people at the end of a 2012 car chase in which officers fired 137 shots May 23, 2015 in Cleveland, Ohio. After leading police on a 20-mile chase, Timothy Russell and Malissa Williams were shot dead after Officer Brelo jumped onto the hood of the car and unleashing a fatal barrage of gunfire. on May 23, 2015 in Cleveland, Ohio.
CLEVELAND, OH - MAY 23: Police in front of Progressive Field stand guard during demenstrations in reaction to Cleveland police officer Michael Brelo being acquitted of manslaughter charges after he shot two people at the end of a 2012 car chase in which officers fired 137 shots May 23, 2015 in Cleveland, Ohio. After leading police on a 20-mile chase, Timothy Russell and Malissa Williams were shot dead after Officer Brelo jumped onto the hood of the car and unleashing a fatal barrage of gunfire. on May 23, 2015 in Cleveland, Ohio.
CLEVELAND, OH - MAY 23: A protestor throws a sign at a patron at Harry Buffal on E 4th. St. during demonstrations in reaction to Cleveland police officer Michael Brelo being acquitted of manslaughter charges after he shot two people at the end of a 2012 car chase in which officers fired 137 shots May 23, 2015 in Cleveland, Ohio. After leading police on a 20-mile chase, Timothy Russell and Malissa Williams were shot dead after Officer Brelo jumped onto the hood of the car and unleashing a fatal barrage of gunfire. on May 23, 2015 in Cleveland, Ohio.
CLEVELAND, OH - MAY 23: People take to the streets and protest in reaction to Cleveland police officer Michael Brelo being acquitted of manslaughter charges after he shot two people at the end of a 2012 car chase in which officers fired 137 shots May 23, 2015 in Cleveland, Ohio. After leading police on a 20-mile chase, Timothy Russell and Malissa Williams were shot dead after Officer Brelo jumped onto the hood of the car and unleashing a fatal barrage of gunfire. on May 23, 2015 in Cleveland, Ohio.
CLEVELAND, OH - MAY 23: People march in protest to the Cuddell Recreation Center where Tamir Rice was killed, in reaction to Cleveland police officer Michael Brelo being acquitted of manslaughter charges after he shot two people at the end of a 2012 car chase in which officers fired 137 shots May 23, 2015 in Cleveland, Ohio. After leading police on a 20-mile chase, Timothy Russell and Malissa Williams were shot dead after Officer Brelo jumped onto the hood of the car and unleashing a fatal barrage of gunfire. on May 23, 2015 in Cleveland, Ohio. (Photo by Ricky Rhodes/Getty Images)
CLEVELAND, OH - MAY 23: Protesters outside of Tower City in Public Square demonstrate in reaction to Cleveland police officer Michael Brelo being acquitted of manslaughter charges after he shot two people at the end of a 2012 car chase in which officers fired 137 shots May 23, 2015 in Cleveland, Ohio. After leading police on a 20-mile chase, Timothy Russell and Malissa Williams were shot dead after Officer Brelo jumped onto the hood of the car and unleashing a fatal barrage of gunfire. (Photo by Ricky Rhodes/Getty Images)
CLEVELAND, OH - MAY 23: People take to the streets and protest in reaction to Cleveland police officer Michael Brelo being acquitted of manslaughter charges after he shot two people at the end of a 2012 car chase in which officers fired 137 shots May 23, 2015 in Cleveland, Ohio. After leading police on a 20-mile chase, Timothy Russell and Malissa Williams were shot dead after Officer Brelo jumped onto the hood of the car and unleashing a fatal barrage of gunfire. (Photo by Ricky Rhodes/Getty Images)
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The new agreement comes at a time when police departments across the nation are considering reforms to address excessive force.

"We have signed and are filing a 105-page, comprehensive consent decree that, once approved, will not only serve as a road map for reform in Cleveland but as a national model for any police department ready to escort a great city to the forefront of the 21st century," Dettelbach said.

Some of the changes for Cleveland include barring the use of lethal force and training to better de-escalate situations. The police department will also be required to keep better records about police stops and use of force.

The lack of comprehensive statistics nationally on such issues is something the Obama administration said it wants to change. Cleveland will have an independent monitor to make sure the reforms are carried out.

These are the types of reforms being considered nationally.

The Justice Department has opened more than a dozen investigations into police departments under the Obama administration and has reached similar deals in cities like New Orleans, Seattle and Detroit.

Justice Department and Cleveland officials are now presenting the agreement to a federal judge for approval.

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