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After an 18-month investigation, the Justice Department has reached a settlement with the city of Cleveland. According to the NY Times, the department found “a pattern of unconstitutional policing and excessive use of force”.

The investigation was launched after a 2012 shooting where officers fired over 130 shots at two unarmed people–Timothy Russell and Malissa Williams, who were inside a vehicle.

From the NY Times:

A car with dozens of bullet holes after the police in Cleveland chased and killed two people in November 2012. The episode led to a manslaughter indictment against one officer and a broad civil rights investigation by the Justice Department.

The details of the settlement were not immediately clear, but in similar talks in recent years, the Justice Department has required cities to allow independent monitors to oversee changes in police departments. Settlements are typically backed by court orders and often call for improved training and revised policies for the use of force.

A spokeswoman for the Cleveland Division of Police referred questions to the mayor’s office, which would not comment on Monday. Dena Iverson, a spokeswoman for the Justice Department, also had no comment.

Image Credit: AP

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  • Me

    if that settlement is for anything less than the resignation of the police chief/sherriff/commissioner, then it’s a load of b/s. nothing’s gonna change as long as the same folks who have been allowing this brutality to go on stay in charge.

    • I agree with you 100 percent Sister. They throw us a bone and then expect us to take it. That bone doesn’t eliminate 400 years of oppression. The more I research the real history of the police, the more angry I feel about the system today. The police institution works for the oligarchy for centuries. They have brutalized black people (from their slave patrols to them using tear gas on peaceful protesters in 2015), workers, and other people in America including throughout the world. The police can readily kill people at will and will never be convicted at all except in rare instances. When even the DOJ documented massive racism and corruption in the Cleveland Police Department, it shows how much of epidemic police terrorism is. The settlement doesn’t jail or really hold accountable Cleveland police officers who participate or cover up injustices. We have seen reform throughout human history. It doesn’t work comprehensively. We always see how some in the mainstream media obsess with property when human life has more value than property. There must be an addressing of chronic unemployment, suffering schools, lax housing, and economic oppression by the oligarchy. Only revolutionary change will work.

    • mmmdot

      America has a sickening past, one which has not been reconciled, and instead of a sheepish and apologetic white populous, we have instead arrogance, aggressiveness and continued racism; the shamelessness should be likened to Neo-Nazis in Germany. This country is hundreds of years of Nazi Germany, South African Apartheid, and Iraq Occupation rolled into one. It’s a terrorist state in and of itself.

      No matter who we put in office, the white supremacy system is still the same. Putting different figureheads on the same ROTTEN system does nothing. The entire system needs to be reconstructed. One of my friends referred to the U.S. as a “failed state” that should fall apart so we could build something real. Lately, I’ve been agreeing with that notion.

    • It is very interesting that you have listed Nazi Germany and Apartheid South Africa. It was many U.S. corporate people (from IBM, Ford, and you name it) who financially aided Nazi Germany and apartheid South Africa. America’s real history of conquest, theft, and oppression has been suppressed in many quarters of the educational system. If the true history of America was shown to the masses of the people, more folks would wake up. It is hypocritical for white racists (who believe in the lie of American exceptionism and love the Iraqi occupation, which has caused more strife among Sunnis, Shias, and Sunnis) to lecture people on democracy when America was founded on blatant oppression. Your last 2 sentences is what it is all about. We want the corrupt system to end (which is about the system of white supremacy), so a real system of justice can be constructed in the world.

    • mmmdot

      “Anytime black people make up real arguments about the conditions in the world, we’re slandered as “race-baiters” and “extremists.”

      That’s b/c once it became clear that humans came from Africa, not Europe or North Eurasia, white scientists, academics, and laypeople didn’t trade their white supremacy for Black supremacy. Instead it was: “Race does not matter!” Despite what whites PUBLICLY claim they’re not ACTUALLY colorblind – they still use the SAME 200 year old, imbecilic white supremacist stereotypes they’ve ALWAYS used to explain everything under the sun. Not only do they regularly use race to explain people’s behavior, they use race to rationalize and protect their their unearned power and resources.

      As Professor Derrick Bell said: “Black people will never gain full equality in this country. Even those herculean efforts we hail as successful will produce no more than temporary ‘peaks of progress,’ short-lived victories that slide into irrelevance as racial patterns adapt in ways that maintain white dominance. This is a hard-to-accept fact that all history verifies. We must acknowledge it, not as a sign of submission, but as an ultimate act of defiance.”

      Most whites will NEVER *voluntarily* give up white supremacy. It has to be TAKEN from them.

  • mmmdot

    When the cops are no different than a Neo-Nazi street gang, it says something about how white supremacy is built into the very fabric of this country. And most Black cops assimilate into the racist police culture and go along to get along, even though their white co-workers habitually threaten THEIR lives too. Crime rates have gone DOWN to RECORD LOWS. So not ONLY do there need to be less police officers in Black neighborhoods – there need to be less police around the whole damn country.

    The reliance of LAZY WHITES on “policing” to GENERATE REVENUE for themselves is sociopathic. They SHOULD be increasing funding to schools, after school programs, jobs, and Black owned businesses, instead of more “policing.” But they WON’T because this is JUST the latest instance of LONG history of lazy, shiftless, entitled whites scheming to disrespect the humanity of people in order to make money. It’s a regressive and dangerous policy, leaned on by greedy and racist white politicians too cowardly to raise revenue through NORMAL and JUST means: TAXATION of white elites. Policing for “safety” is the biggest lie we’ve ever been fed. White supremacy and privatization are the biggest problems facing this society, not “street crime.”

  • mmmdot

    And when “law abiding cops” start turning in the bad cops that they are indeed aware of then and ONLY then will I believe there is such a thing as a “good cop.” Just because you know a police officer who isn’t nasty and won’t beat people up doesn’t mean they’re necessarily “GOOD” by default. Why? Because real “good cops” ARREST bad cops. Period.

  • Rizzo

    130 shots fired at two unarmed black people … no return fire — the purpose/intent of this incident is overwhelming