Cleveland agreed to sweeping changes in how its police officers use force, treat the community and deal with the mentally ill, under a settlement announced Tuesday with the federal government that will put the 1,500-member department under an independent monitor.
The settlement was made public three days after a white Cleveland patrolman was acquitted of manslaughter for his role in a 137-shot barrage of police gunfire that left two unarmed black suspects dead in a car in 2012.
Mayor Frank Jackson said the ambitious plan that was worked out over five months of negotiations with the Justice Department will be expensive and will take years to put in place. But he said he sees it as a chance to set an example.
In December, after an 18-month investigation prompted in part by the 2012 shooting, the Justice Department issued a scathing report accusing Cleveland police of a pattern of excessive force and other abuses.
The settlement comes amid tension around the U.S. over a string of cases in which blacks died at the hands of police.