Case: DOJ Investigation of the Cincinnati Police Department

No docket | No Court

Filed Date: 2001

Closed Date: 2007

Clearinghouse coding complete

Case Summary

In April 2001, the mayor of Cincinnati requested that the U.S. Department of Justice ("DOJ") review the Cincinnati Police Department's ("CPD") use of force. Pursuant to its authority under 42 U.S.C. § 14141, the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act, the DOJ initiated an investigation. The DOJ conducted extensive interviews with city and CPD officials and community members; analyzed firearms investigations and complaints alleging excessive force; and examined CPD's use of force policies…

In April 2001, the mayor of Cincinnati requested that the U.S. Department of Justice ("DOJ") review the Cincinnati Police Department's ("CPD") use of force. Pursuant to its authority under 42 U.S.C. § 14141, the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act, the DOJ initiated an investigation. The DOJ conducted extensive interviews with city and CPD officials and community members; analyzed firearms investigations and complaints alleging excessive force; and examined CPD's use of force policies, training curriculum, supervisory procedures, and disciplinary system.

On April 12, 2002, the DOJ and the CPD entered a Memorandum of Agreement ("MOA"). The MOA set forth specific reforms regarding the use of force. Specifically, the Agreement mandated that CPD revise its practices related to the documentation and investigation of use of force incidents and its supervision and management procedures. Moreover, the MOA required that a DOJ-appointed monitor review and report on CPD's compliance with the terms of the Agreement. The city was required to file a status report with the monitor every three months until the termination of the Agreement and the monitor was instructed to issue quarterly reports detailing the city's compliance with the Agreement. The MOA was set to terminate 5 years after its effective date, or upon joint agreement by the parties.

On July 25, 2006, the parties executed a joint amendment to the MOA. In order to focus on resolving the MOA provisions with which CPD had yet to comply, the parties agreed to terminate those provisions of the Agreement with which the monitor determined CPD had maintained substantial compliance for at least two years.

On April 12, 2007, the DOJ found that CPD had satisfied the requirements of the MOA and closed its investigation.

Summary Authors

Dan Dalton (1/12/2007)

Nate West (11/13/2014)

Related Cases

In re Cincinnati Policing, Southern District of Ohio (1999)

Leis v. ACLU of Ohio Foundation, Inc., Southern District of Ohio (2006)


Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

Ashcroft, John (District of Columbia)

Gonzalez, Gregory (District of Columbia)

Kim, Wan J. (District of Columbia)

Rosenbaum, Steven H. (District of Columbia)

Attorneys(s) for Defendant

Brown Cutlar, Shanetta Y. (District of Columbia)

Dupuis, Fay D. (Ohio)

McNeil, J. Rita (Ohio)

Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

Ashcroft, John (District of Columbia)

Gonzalez, Gregory (District of Columbia)

Kim, Wan J. (District of Columbia)

Rosenbaum, Steven H. (District of Columbia)

Attorneys(s) for Defendant

Brown Cutlar, Shanetta Y. (District of Columbia)

Dupuis, Fay D. (Ohio)

McNeil, J. Rita (Ohio)

Documents in the Clearinghouse

Document

Findings Letter - Re: Investigation of the Cincinnati Police Division

Oct. 23, 2001 Findings Letter/Report

Memorandum of Agreement

April 12, 2002 Settlement Agreement

Justice Department Reaches Agreement with the Cincinnati Police Department

DOJ Investigation of the Cincinnati Police Department

April 12, 2002 Press Release

Joint Amendment to the April 12, 2002 Memorandum of Agreement

July 25, 2006 Settlement Agreement

DOJ Notification of Termination of MOA

April 12, 2007 Other

Summary of Memorandum of Agreement

None Settlement Agreement

Resources

Title Description External URL

Implementing §14141 “Pattern or Practice” Reform: Evidence from Four Police Departments

Joshua M. Chanin

This paper takes as its subject a relatively new, but promising initiative to control police behavior through department-wide reform: a provision in the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act … Oct. 1, 2009 http://www.pmranet.org/conferences/OSU2009/papers/Chanin,%20Joshua%20M.%20Implementing%20Section%2014141%20Pattern%20or%20Practice%20Reform%20-%20Evidence%20from%20Four%20Police%20Departments.pdf

Reforming Police Use-of-Force Practices: A Case Study of the Cincinnati Police Department

Elliot Harvey Schatmeier

When Congress enacted the Violent Crime Control & Law Enforcement Act of 1994, it gave the Department of Justice (DOJ) a powerful tool for correcting unconstitutional practices in state and local pol… Sept. 1, 2012 http://www.columbia.edu/cu/jlsp/pdf/Summer2013/Schatmeier.pdf

Federal Intervention in American Police Departments

Stephen Rushin

For much of American history, the federal government has played a limited role in local police regulation. That all changed in 1994, when Congress passed a little known statute that permitted the US … April 7, 2017

State Attorneys General as Agents of Police Reform

Jason Mazzone, Stephen Rushin

This Article provides a cautionary tale about uses of parens patriae by state attorneys general and an alternative. It urges that the common law doctrine of parens patriae should not allow state atto… Feb. 27, 2019

Docket

Last updated May 12, 2022, 8 p.m.

Docket sheet not available via the Clearinghouse.

State / Territory: Ohio

Case Type(s):

Policing

Key Dates

Filing Date: 2001

Closing Date: 2007

Case Ongoing: No

Plaintiffs

Plaintiff Description:

United States Department of Justice

Plaintiff Type(s):

U.S. Dept of Justice plaintiff

Attorney Organizations:

U.S. Dept. of Justice Civil Rights Division

Public Interest Lawyer: Yes

Filed Pro Se: No

Class Action Sought: No

Class Action Outcome: Not sought

Defendants

City of Cincinnati (Cincinnati), City

Defendant Type(s):

Jurisdiction-wide

Case Details

Causes of Action:

34 U.S.C. § 12601 (previously 42 U.S.C. § 14141)

Special Case Type(s):

Out-of-court

Availably Documents:

None of the above

Outcome

Prevailing Party: Plaintiff

Nature of Relief:

Injunction / Injunctive-like Settlement

Source of Relief:

Settlement

Form of Settlement:

Private Settlement Agreement

Order Duration: 2002 - 2007

Content of Injunction:

Auditing

Monitoring

Monitor/Master

Recordkeeping

Reporting

Issues

General:

Aggressive behavior

Excessive force

Failure to supervise

Failure to train

Improper treatment of mentally ill suspects

Improper use of canines

Inadequate citizen complaint investigations and procedures

Restraints : chemical

Mental Disability:

Mental Illness, Unspecified