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Cleveland Reaches Settlement With Feds Over Police Practices

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cleveland.com
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A senior federal law enforcement official says the city of Cleveland has reached a settlement with the U.S. Justice Department over its report showing police engage in a pattern or practice of using excessive force and violating the civil rights of citizens.  The official was not authorized to speak publicly of the settlement ahead of the official announcement expected this week, and spoke on condition of anonymity. The settlement comes days after a white police officer was acquitted of shooting 15 rounds through the windshield of a car, killing unarmed black suspects Malissa Williams and Timothy Russell in 2012. More than four dozen of the 71 protesters arrested after the acquittal of officer Michael Brelo were arraigned yesterday. Mark Urycki of member station WCPN in Cleveland reports.

Fifty-five men and women were arraigned on charges of Failure to Disperse stemming from a protest march at a popular outdoor café area in downtown Cleveland Saturday night.  Most pled no contest and Judge  
 
“Thank you, maximum fine $150, no jail days.  Do you understand?” Yes. “Credit for three days, sentence satisfied, sentence suspended, you can step back, thank you.” ~FADE UNDER ~ :10  
 
Defense attorney James Hardiman said the police went too far to locking up the protesters for two days . .  
 
“Well I think they’re over reaching quite honestly because they could have easily have not charged anyone and just shooed them out of areas they thought they should not have been in.  They chose to make the arrests and for people who feel they did not do anything wrong or commit any offense we’re here to defend them.”  
 
Urycki the charges were reduced from what?  
 
HARDIMAN “Chargers were initially Failure to Disperse which is a misdemeanor of the first degree.  It was subsequently, on the part of the city, reduced to a minor misdemeanor, which is almost akin to a traffic ticket.”  
 
Only one person pled guilty.  20 pled not guilty and will return to court for trial.

Jim has been with WCBE since 1996. Before that he worked as a reporter at another Columbus radio station, and for three newspapers in Southwest Florida.
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