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Judge Approves Package of Reforms for Cleveland Police

A federal judge signed off Friday on an agreement between the Justice Department and the city of Cleveland to reform the troubled police department there.

The agreement will overhaul rules on the use of force, directing officers to use de-escalation tactics when possible. It also calls for training on minimizing racial bias, data analysis on stops, searches and seizures to guard against unconstitutional policing.

Image:
Demonstrators pause at the entrance to the Cuyahoga County Justice Center as police stand guard during a protest against the acquittal of Michael Brelo, a patrolman charged in the shooting deaths of two unarmed suspects, Saturday, May 23, 2015, in Cleveland. Brelo was acquitted Saturday in a case involving a 137-shot barrage of gunfire that helped prompt the U.S. Department of Justice determine the city police department had a history of using excessive force and violating civil rights. (AP Photo/John Minchillo John Minchillo / AP

A Justice Department report issued in December found pattern of improper police tactics in Cleveland policing, including unjustified shootings, blows to the head and excessive force against the mentally ill.

In approving the agreement on Friday, U.S. District Judge Solomon Oliver Jr. said that training will be critical to the success of the reforms.