A screenshot of Council Member Deborah Gray asking a question at the April 26 Cleveland City Council Safety Committee meeting.
Council Member Deborah Gray asks a question at the April 26 Safety Committee meeting. Credit: Cleveland City Council YouTube

Covered by Documenters Carolyn Cooper and Nicholas Ventura

What happened: Cleveland City Council members were updated on what money the city is spending on police oversight and meeting and measuring its goals under the consent decree with the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) and Issue 24, the ballot initiative that made changes to Cleveland’s charter. Cleveland has a Civilian Police Review Board to review complaints against officers, a Community Police Commission to oversee the department’s policies and do a final review of police discipline, and a Public Safety Inspector General to oversee policies and practices and review investigations of safety forces, including police. In addition, Mayor Justin Bibb created a Police Accountability Team to oversee the city’s progress required under the consent decree.

Council Member Michael Polensek said there was growing confusion about the changes, and he asked if they still needed all of the different entities. Chief Ethics Officer Delante Thomas responded, “The residents of Cleveland decided that we do,” adding that the Inspector General job is required by the consent decree.

Citizen complaints: Thomas outlined the process to submit a complaint against a police department employee. He said officers are required to have complaint forms in their vehicles. Council Member Deborah Gray asked if someone could file a complaint at the scene if they disagreed with how a family member was treated at the time of arrest. Chief of Police Wayne Drummond said yes. 

Left wondering: Documenter Carolyn Cooper asked, “Will some people hesitate to file complaints against the police because they fear retaliation?”

The Community Police Commission is holding public meetings the second and fourth Wednesday of the month. The next one is set for May 10. Learn more about the meetings and how to attend.

Read the Twitter thread by Documenter Nicholas Ventura:

Signal background

Cleveland Documenters pays and trains people to cover public meetings where government officials discuss important issues and decide how to spend taxpayer money.

Documenters Community Coordinator (she/her)
Through a partnership with Neighborhood Connections, Anastazia works with Signal Cleveland to support Cleveland Documenters and our community building.