The Cleveland Plain Dealer has been running a series of investigative reports lately on the local police department. These articles have called into question the integrity of the department and have ultimately led to some serious allegations of police brutality, cover ups, and the every present and impenetrable “blue wall of silence.” Now the local department says that changes in policy will be made as a response to these cases, though they may not admit any wrongdoing.
Many of the problems within the department can be attributed to record keeping issues. Whether conflicting reports were overlooked by supervisors or if crucial video-evidence was “lost”, the Plain Dealer suggests that all of the issues were worth examining and rectifying so as not to happen again.
One thing that won’t be changed, according to the Cleveland Police Department, is the way they handle conflicting statements and discrepancies the news organization uncovered in their work. The department states these were honest mistakes with little bearing on the integrity of any investigation.
About the inconsistencies, Deputy Chief Hector Cuevas said, “I don’t know if they’re substantial or significant differences. It’s not unusual that you have four different officers and four different accounts of what happened.”
But the Plain Dealer asserts that of more than 36 use-of-force cases they reviewed, “several” included instances where supervisors “questionable details and perfunctory reports.” The Department defends their officers and their use of force policies, calling them some of the strictest in the United States.
What will be changed is how the city handles video evidence collected at the jail. The current policy will require them to save any video footage for more than the current policy’s 30 day limit. They will also likely be changing how the police maintain digital photos after a use of force. These photos are used to chronicle the injuries of suspects and officers alike.
When you’re on the wrong end of a police use of force, you want to know that the department is concerned about your treatment. Very few of these incidents end with the suspect not facing criminal charges. This is what makes them so tricky. You could see it as self-defense, but when you’re defending yourself against police officers you face an uphill battle.
You could be charged with resisting arrest or even assault on a law enforcement officer. These are very serious criminal charges that should be handled with the assistance of a local criminal defense lawyer. If you are accused of one of these offenses or if you are charged with another crime, contact our attorneys today to discuss your case.