The United States Department of Justice and the City of Cleveland have filed a joint motion in U.S. District Court asking Judge Solomon Oliver to amend the Consent Decree. The motion requests that the Consent Decree’s language be changed to allow for the hiring of a current or former law enforcement officer to lead the police department’s Internal Affairs Unit.
“This modification is necessary,” reads the motion, “to permit the Division to hire a qualified civilian to oversee the Division’s Internal Affairs Unit and to begin implementing the reforms to the Unit that are required by the [Consent Decree]. The Monitoring Team has reviewed and agrees with this proposed modification.”
Though former Cleveland
police employees would still be prohibited from holding the position, the changed language would permit the hiring of a former county prosecutor and assistant U.S. attorney, whom the city has its sights on.
As described in the motion, the city made multiple attempts to fill the Internal Affairs position in 2016 and 2017, but after interviewing qualified candidates, it remained unfilled — “none of the candidates were suitable.”