Cleveland police

Cleveland police have agreed to cut in half a backlog of citizen complaint cases by the end of the year. The monitor overseeing the city’s consent decree laid out a schedule of deadlines in a federal court filing last week.

The monitoring team in June said that Cleveland is moving too slowly in finishing years-old investigations of complaints against officers.

The draft of a new policy barring discrimination by Cleveland police officers is available for public review.

The bias-free policing policy prohibits officers from stopping or arresting people based on their race, religion, sexual orientation or gender identity, among other attributes. But if police are looking for a suspect, they may still take those characteristics into account if they’re part of a credible and specific description.

Officers are also not allowed to use derogatory language.

The city of Cleveland says it’s working toward complying with the police reform agreement signed with the Justice Department two years ago. The city filed its latest six-month status update in federal court on Wednesday. 

Cleveland’s chief counsel says the city is focused on “substantially reducing” the backlog in complaint cases against officers.

It’s been two years since Cleveland and the Justice Department agreed on a path for reforming the police department. A DOJ investigation found a pattern or practice of excessive use of force, and the reform efforts resulted in a consent decree, overseen by a federal judge. 

This morning the National Black Prosecutors Association met in downtown Cleveland to learn more about the decree. 

ideastream’s Tony Ganzer moderated a conversation with some of the key figures in the reform process, and talked with Nick Castele, who was listening for any news. 

A monitoring report says Cleveland police have made progress updating policies but face a backlog in investigations of complaints against officers. The six-month review was released Tuesday by the monitoring team overseeing the city’s consent decree with the Justice Department.

The monitors wrote positively of the city’s new training guidelines for its use-of-force and crisis intervention policies. Both were submitted for a judge’s approval in recent weeks.

Officials in Cleveland are preparing for the NBA Finals, with a lot of activity scheduled even on days when the Cavs will be on the West Coast.

There could be as many as four away games during the Finals, beginning Thursday night. And Quicken Loans Arena is planning to hold watch parties for all of them. On top of that, ESPN is broadcasting several shows during the finals, live from the Hofbrauhaus restaurant near Playhouse Square.

Timothy Loehmann, the police officer who shot and killed 12-year-old Tamir Rice in 2014, was fired by the Cleveland Police Department on Tuesday. At a news conference, city authorities announced that the reason for his termination wasn't the deadly incident that brought him to national attention, but rather violations he committed in the course of his hiring process.

Tamir Rice
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The city of Cleveland has fired one police officer and suspended a second involved in the shooting of 12-year-old Tamir Rice.

TIM EVANSON / WIKIMEDIA COMMONS

The ACLU of Ohio is asking Cleveland to recommit to the promises made in a  2015 consent decree to reform the Police Department. This Friday marks two years since the agreement was signed.

Kevin Niedermier / WKSU

The three-day search for Steve Stephens ended Tuesday morning with Stephens killing himself after a brief pursuit by Pennsylvania State Police near Erie, Pa.. Stephens was accused of randomly shooting and killing an elderly Cleveland man on Easter Sunday and posting the gruesome video on Facebook.

Cleveland Police

Steve Stephens, the man sought in the killing of an elderly man in Cleveland, committed suicide after a chase by Pennsylvania State Police in Erie. 

Kevin Niedermier / WKSU

Authorities are hoping a reward will help them capture the man accused of shooting an elderly man at random Sunday and posting the grizzly footage on Facebook. Mayor Frank Jackson is asking anyone with information on Steve Stephens to come forward.

Cleveland Police

manhunt is underway in Ohio and surrounding states for a man accused of posting a Facebook video as he gunned down an elderly man.

A manhunt is under way for a suspect whom Cleveland police say filmed his fatal shooting of an elderly man, in a video that he posted to Facebook.

In a later video, also posted to Facebook on Sunday afternoon, a man purporting to be Steve Stephens, the accused shooter, says he has killed more than a dozen other people. Police have not verified that claim.

Cleveland police have identified the homicide victim from the video as 74-year-old Robert Godwin Sr.

WKSU

The Ohio Supreme Court ruled an East Cleveland judge can hear criminal charges against five police supervisors, following the death of two unarmed black individuals in a barrage of police gunfire. But the Cuyahoga County prosecutor hasn't decided whether he will pursue those charges.

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