Cleveland officials and the US Department of Justice have announced a settlement on how the city's police can be reformed.
As a part of the agreement, police officials will be adopting many changes for the betterment of the force. By the end of 2015, the city's police officers will be required to wear body camera. Officer training on the use of excessive force will also be increased.
Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson (D) said that community policing will be part of the department's DNA. A community police commission will comprise of 10 residents and three police union officials. The commission's aim will be to give suggestions on steps that can be taken to make policing free of bias, accountable and transparent.
For Jackson, the agreement will take police reform to another level. Under the agreement, pistol whipping, firing warning shots and use of force against people for talking back or as punishment for running away will be banned.
Police will also be required to deal more sensitively with mentally ill. On Tuesday, the 105-page agreement has been filed in federal court. Now, a judge has to approve the settlement.
An independent monitor will be supervising how the things are going as per the agreement and also, whether or not the changes are being implemented. The judge will also be required to approve the city's selection of an independent monitor.
It was important to come up with such a step as there are many longstanding tensions between police and residents. Things are especially troubling in the black community.
Jackson said, "As we move forward, it is my strong belief that as other cities across this country address and look at their police issues in their communities, they will be able to say, 'Let's look at Cleveland because Cleveland has done it right".