U.S. Department of Justice "Voluntary" Agreement with Cincinnati For Victims of Reverse Discrimination
Simulation of DOJ Seal

On April 12, 2002 -- 1 year after the Timothy Thomas "Race Riots" in Cincinnati -- the U.S. Department of Justice announced a "voluntary" agreement with Cincinnati to "improve" their police department.

[This story is under development as of 4/23/02.  A detailed analysis is pending, and the full text of the "voluntary" agreement with Cincinnati is available in PDF format at DOJ-Cinci Agreement.  -- Editor]

[Official Press Release from U.S. DOJ 4/12/02]


Agreement Underscores Justice Department'S Commitment To Work With
Cities To Identify Areas In Which Police Practices May Be Improved

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Attorney General John Ashcroft announced today that the Justice Department has reached an agreement with the City of Cincinnati and the Cincinnati Police Department (CPD) to improve policing in Cincinnati. Under an agreement executed today among the Justice Department, the City of Cincinnati, and the CPD, the CPD will augment and enhance its policies and procedures in use of force, training, management, supervision, and discipline of officers to help ensure that CPD continues to minimize and deter the use of excessive force.

"Our priority is to fix the problem, not fix the blame. Our mission was to identify areas of opportunity for immediate reform and remediation," said Ashcroft. "In one year's time Cincinnati has been transformed from a city of division to a city of reconciliation."

As a result of the agreement, the City and the CPD will:

  • enhance policy requirements and limitations on the use of force by officers, including the use of firearms, beanbag shot guns and 40 millimeter foam rounds, chemical irritant and canines;
  • improve supervisory oversight of use of force incidents; supervisors will document and investigate each incident giving rise to a use of force for compliance with CPD policy and to evaluate the tactics used by the officer;
  • implement policy revisions and training which will emphasize that de-escalation techniques, such as disengagement, area containment, surveillance, waiting out a subject, summoning reinforcements or calling in specialized units may be an appropriate response to a situation;
  • enhance and expand its risk management system that will provide CPD managers with information necessary to better supervise officers and groups of officers;
  • analyze trends in uses of force, searches, seizures, and other law enforcement activities that create a risk of officer misconduct;
  • create a cadre of officers who are specially trained to intervene in situations involving people with mental illness;
  • improve the procedures for investigating allegations of misconduct and uses of force by CPD officers and to complete the investigations in a more thorough, fair, and timely manner;
  • publicly report important data regarding CPD use of force incidents and civilian complaints; and
  • implement a variety of changes in the procedures used for receiving, investigating, and resolving misconduct complaints. CPD will make complaint forms and informational materials more widely available at a variety of public locations.

Additionally, the parties will jointly select an independent monitor who will ensure that CPD complies with the agreement. The monitor will issue regular public reports regarding CPD's progress in implementing these reforms. Additionally, the same monitor will also oversee the Collaborative's settlement agreement in the private lawsuit, Cincinnati Policing, No. C-1-99-317 (S.D. Oh. 2001).

Under the 1994 Crime Bill, the Justice Department has the authority to file civil suits against law enforcement agencies that engage in a pattern of misconduct. The Justice Department also has the authority to file suit against law enforcement agencies that receive federal funds and engage in a pattern of discrimination. [Emphasis added.  -- Editor]

Commentary:  Does the U.S. DOJ and Attorney General John Ashcroft really want us to believe this agreement was voluntary?  -- Editor

Other Links and Resources

Full text of DOJ's "voluntary" agreement with Cincinnati at:  DOJ-Cinci Agreement (PDF format)

Analysis of DOJ agreement with Cincinnati at:  Analysis of DOJ-Cinci Agreement (Web format)

RELOAD Main Frame: Cincinnati Stories

CLOSE Frames and Return to Home Page