University of Michigan Law School
Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse
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Case Name DOJ Investigation of the Cincinnati Police Department PN-OH-0006
Docket / Court No docket ( No Court )
State/Territory Ohio
Case Type(s) Policing
Attorney Organization U.S. Dept. of Justice Civil Rights Division
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 ... read more >
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.

Dan Dalton - 01/12/2007
Nate West - 11/13/2014


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Content of Injunction
Auditing
Monitor/Master
Monitoring
Recordkeeping
Reporting
Defendant-type
Jurisdiction-wide
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
Plaintiff Type
U.S. Dept of Justice plaintiff
Causes of Action 42 U.S.C. § 14141
Defendant(s) City of Cincinnati
Plaintiff Description United States Department of Justice
Indexed Lawyer Organizations U.S. Dept. of Justice Civil Rights Division
Class action status sought No
Class action status granted No
Prevailing Party Plaintiff
Public Int. Lawyer Yes
Nature of Relief Injunction / Injunctive-like Settlement
Source of Relief Settlement
Form of Settlement Private Settlement Agreement
Order Duration 2002 - 2007
Case Closing Year 2007
Case Ongoing No
Case Listing PN-OH-0005 : In re Cincinnati Policing (S.D. Ohio)
PN-OH-0007 : Leis v. ACLU of Ohio Foundation, Inc. (S.D. Ohio)
Additional Resources
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Case Studies Federal Enforcement of Police Reform
By: Stephen Rushin (University of Illinois College of Law, University of California, Berkeley - Jurisprudence and Social Policy Program )
Citation: 82 Fordham Law Review 3189 (2014)
[ Detail ] [ External Link ]

  Implementing §14141 “Pattern or Practice” Reform: Evidence from Four Police Departments
Written: Oct. 01, 2009
By: Joshua M. Chanin (University of San Diego)
[ Detail ] [ External Link ]

  Panopticism for Police: Structural Reform Bargaining and Police Regulation by Data-Driven Surveillance
By: Mary D. Fan (University of Washington)
Citation: Forthcoming, 87 Washington L. Rev. __ (2012).
[ Detail ] [ External Link ]

  Reforming Police Use-of-Force Practices: A Case Study of the Cincinnati Police Department
By: Elliot Harvey Schatmeier (Columbia University)
Citation: 46 Colum. JL & Soc. Probs. 539 (2012).
[ Detail ] [ External Link ]

  What Happens When Police Are Forced to Reform?
Written: Nov. 13, 2015
By: Kimbriell Kelly, Sarah Childress and Steven Rich (Frontline/Post)
Citation: Washington Post (Nov. 13, 2015)
[ Detail ] [ External Link ]

Docket(s)
No docket sheet currently in the collection
General Documents
Summary of Memorandum of Agreement
PN-OH-0006-0004.pdf | Detail
Findings Letter - Re: Investigation of the Cincinnati Police Division 10/23/2001
PN-OH-0006-0001.pdf | Detail
Document Source: U.S. Department of Justice, Civil Rights Division, Special Litigation Section
Memorandum of Agreement 04/12/2002
PN-OH-0006-0002.pdf | Detail
Document Source: U.S. Department of Justice, Civil Rights Division, Special Litigation Section
Justice Department Reaches Agreement with the Cincinnati Police Department 04/12/2002
PN-OH-0006-0006.pdf | Detail
Document Source: U.S. Department of Justice, Civil Rights Division, Special Litigation Section
Joint Amendment to the April 12, 2002 Memorandum of Agreement 07/25/2006
PN-OH-0006-0003.pdf | Detail
DOJ Notification of Termination of MOA 04/12/2007
PN-OH-0006-0005.pdf | Detail
Judges None on record
Monitors/Masters None on record
Plaintiff's Lawyers Ashcroft, John (District of Columbia)
PN-OH-0006-0002
Brown Cutlar, Shanetta Y. (District of Columbia)
PN-OH-0006-0003 | PN-OH-0006-0005
Gonzalez, Gregory (District of Columbia)
PN-OH-0006-0003
Kim, Wan J. (District of Columbia)
PN-OH-0006-0003
Rosenbaum, Steven H. (District of Columbia)
PN-OH-0006-0001
Defendant's Lawyers Dupuis, Fay D. (Ohio)
PN-OH-0006-0001 | PN-OH-0006-0002
McNeil, J. Rita (Ohio)
PN-OH-0006-0003
Other Lawyers None on record

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