DOJ Rules for Cleveland Police: ‘De-Escalation’ Instead of Force

Susan Jones, CNS News, May 27, 2015

The Obama Justice Department intends to “transform” the Cleveland police department “into a model of community-oriented policing,” by restricting officers’ use of force to subdue suspects.

The consent decree announced on Tuesday requires Cleveland police to use “de-escalation techniques” instead of force “whenever possible and appropriate.”

And who’s to decide what’s “appropriate”? A civilian, someone with no experience in subduing dangerous suspects, will be placed at the head of the police department’s Internal Affairs division to ensure that complaints of police misconduct are “thoroughly and effectively investigated.”

In a section called “Bias-Free Policing,” the agreement says Cleveland police will “deliver police services” in a “respectful” manner, free of unlawful bias, in a way that inspires confidence: “CDP expects all officers to treat all members of the Cleveland community with courtesy, professionalism, and respect, and not to use harassing, intimidating, or derogatory language.”

Another key element of the agreement–a favorite of the federal government–is “data collection and analysis.” This means the police department must keep detailed notes on officers’ activities when they respond to calls involving the use of force–including whether they have unholstered a firearm during an encounter with someone.

According to the consent agreement, the new rules are intended to ensure that officers “use techniques other than force to effect compliance with police orders whenever feasible; use force only when necessary, and in a manner that avoids unnecessary injury to officers and civilians; de-escalate the use of force at the earliest possible moment; and accurately and completely report all uses of force.”

Much of the agreement involves use-of-force policies. Here are some of the new guidelines issued to officers who sometimes must make split-second decisions in potentially life-threatening situations. The words come straight from the consent decree, except where noted.


— Officers will use de-escalation techniques whenever possible and appropriate, before resorting to force and to reduce the need for force. De-escalation techniques may include verbal persuasion and warnings and tactical deescalation techniques, such as slowing down the pace or an incident, waiting out subjects, creating distance (and thus the reactionary gap) between the officer and the threat, and requesting additional resources (e.g. specialized CIT officers or negotiators).

— Officers will be trained to consider the possibility that a subject may be noncompliant due to a medical or mental condition, physical or hearing impairment, language barrier, drug interaction, or emotional crisis;


— Officers will not use head strikes with hard objects, except where lethal force is justified. Officers will be trained that a strike to the head with any impact weapon could result in death;


— Officers will not use neck holds;


— Immediately following a use or force, officers and, upon arrival, a supervisor, will inspect and observe subjects for injury or complaints of pain resulting from the use of force, and immediately obtain any necessary medical care. As necessary, officers will provide emergency first aid until professional medical care providers are on scene.

— As soon as practical following a use of force, CDP will ensure that the incident is accurately and properly reported, documented, and investigated. A fundamental goal of the revised use of force policy will be to account for, review, and investigate every reportable use of force and reduce any improper uses of force.


Vanita Gupta, head of DOJ’s Civil Rights Division, announced the “court enforceable agreement” on Tuesday, following the Justice Department’s finding that Cleveland Police engaged in a “pattern or practice” of using excessive force. She said the agreement will build a “safer, more just city.”



Share This

We welcome comments that add information or perspective, and we encourage polite debate. If you log in with a social media account, your comment should appear immediately. If you prefer to remain anonymous, you may comment as a guest, using a name and an e-mail address of convenience. Your comment will be moderated.
  • Doing my best Don LaFontaine impersonation:

    “In a world lorded over by SJWs and statgeeks…”

    • propagandaoftruth

      Sounds like the government protection racket (taxes for protection and order) is working well for the voter, if not the property owner.


  • Poupon Marx

    “The police will offer Malt Liquor and/or cocaine to the assailant, belligerent, in order to encourage him to comply to police REQUESTS to cease assault behavior or damaging property. All REQUESTS will be preceded with a “please”, of “If you please”, or “We would appreciate it if….”, instead of a command. All arrests will be documented with voluminous paper work, excluding any reference to victims who do not fit into any academic Marxist theory of oppression.”

    So decreed our Dear Leader, The anointed One.

  • TruthBeTold

    Because at heart criminals are just misunderstood good people.

  • TruthBeTold

    Officers will use de-escalation techniques whenever possible and
    appropriate, before resorting to force and to reduce the need for force.
    De-escalation techniques may include verbal persuasion and warnings and
    tactical deescalation techniques, such as slowing down the pace or an
    incident, waiting out subjects, creating distance (and thus the
    reactionary gap) between the officer and the threat, and requesting
    additional resources (e.g. specialized CIT officers or negotiators).

    • Petronius

      Yes, but the police will only be powerless against non-whites.

      For the rest of us, it’s business as usual (or worse).

    • DonReynolds

      In practical terms, this means to do nothing when blacks show contempt for law enforcement and refuse to pull over for 22 miles, while under the influence of drugs. It means the only people who should ever be arrested are those who turn themselves in……and of course, zero arrests for outstanding warrants.

  • LHathaway

    How is it not good Police are going to de-escalate situations and use minimal force and only as much force as necessary? The frightening reality may be, they do that already.

  • MekongDelta69


    Then Cleveland will become the next Baltimore.

    As long as you don’t ‘offend’ the precious diversity.

    • Chip Carver

      It all boils down the police stepping back and letting the hottentots go hog wild. That’s the real intent. Mass chaos is the goal.

      • MBlanc46

        And perhaps a few more whites awakened.

      • stonepillow

        You’re disparaging the Hottentots.

  • Caesar Avgvstvs

    Obama’s war against the police is based on mass delusion. He assumes that it is the “racist” police that put blacks in jail, instead of blacks putting themselves there.

    • Light from the East

      I think the Obama Justice Department intends to “abolish” the Cleveland police department since white men’s justice system and laws cannot be used to punish black thugs.

      • LHathaway

        Go to court in any city in Ohio, all the judges and lawyers are women or people of color. It’s been that way for 30 years.

        • The All Seeing Bry

          Not to ruin your fun, but I’ve been to court in ohio probably a half dozen times. All the judges were White males, but these were all in the suburbs.

          Also the common pleas Judge in Cuyahoga county is John P. O’donnell, a White male.

  • serious123

    The Cleveland Police Department must have laughed their heads off signing this piece of propaganda since every single guideline is probably already followed.

    • DonReynolds

      They should have laughed in the Feds faces and refused to sign any such admission, regarding their training, tactics, or policies. Tell them to go to hell.

  • Tarczan

    What all these police cases are is a move by Obama to begin to bring all police forces under federal control. He has the heart of a dictator and he wants to nationalize the police.

  • Steve_in_Vermont

    This is sure to attract and keep only the most qualified officers. It’s conceivable that most experienced officers, and potential good cops, would opt to leave or apply for other departments. I can’t imagine, as a PO, having to make split second decisions that will be reviewed by a civilian who has no experience and all the time in the world.

  • Hilis Hatki

    Maybe the police should partner up with the criminals, they have in my majority white area.

  • John Smith

    This is going to work so well that I’m laughing already.

  • DonReynolds

    Excuse me…..since when did police, licensed and trained by state standards, suddenly become a Federal matter? I checked the Constitution once again and I saw nothing in the Federal Constitution that says local law enforcement come under the jurisdiction of the Just-Us Department. Tell the Feds where they can get off.

  • JohnEngelman

    It will be interesting to see what effect this has on the crime rate in Cleveland. It will also be interesting to see what effect this has on retention of police officers there.

    • Poupon Marx

      You know the answer to that already, as do we all.

  • libertarian1234

    They’re just 13% of the population yet blacks think everything should be changed to whatever suits them. They see themselves as the center of the entire universe.

    No race has dumbed down the education system in this country as blacks have, and they’re the most violent, crime prone, race existing anywhere in the world, contributing absolutely nothing to mankind, yet they’re so arrogant they have an image of themselves as being the greatest thinkers and movers on planet earth.

    Conforming to their childish demands, is the same as giving in to spoiled moronic children who insist on doing things their way in spite of the obvious stupidity involved.

    But this crime and violence thing is going to get far more serious than what the white weenies, who constantly give in to them, can imagine.

    • stonepillow

      You forget that Blacks were building civilizations while Whites were still living in caves and that magical negroes invented space travel two thousand years ago.

      • Tarczan

        And don’t forget George Washington Carver and the peanut.

    • Poupon Marx

      We’ve destroyed our culture-debased out standards, the civic culture, our language, and our heritage and legacy. All for the world’s losers, the least of all peoples. And the worst of it is, they complain unendingly and disparage US as racists.

      Re-segregate. Ya’ll go your way, we’ll go ours. Best of luck with your New Golden Age of Blackness, when you don’t have the White Main to hold you back.

    • Spikeygrrl

      They’ve contributed a lot to pro sports. This problem would disappear if childish White men would stop pouring billions of dollars every year (in the USA alone, $75 billion yearly as of the mid-00s) into watching childish Negro men playing absurdly inflated schoolyard games.

      They’ve also CREATED the entire (c)rap industry. Don’t even get me started or I’ll be up on that soapbox all day.

    • pennawhytmn

      But they were “Kings and Queens in Egypt” don’t ya know!

  • MBlanc46

    “Community-oriented policing”? Holding doors for burglars? Providing back-up for carjackers? Driving the getaway cars for armed robbers? I’m sure that’s what the
    “black community” would prefer.

  • how about this

    This kind of tactic sounds like walking into a hungry tiger’s cage at the zoo with a rabbit tied to each arm and expecting that the proper sensitivity to tiger culture on your part will be enough to override the “anti-tiger rumors” that a) tigers are predators and b) from a tiger’s point of view, rabbits are delicious, as are you.

  • stonepillow

    Five years and there won’t be a White left there.

    • Spikeygrrl

      There were barely any when I left there 12 years ago. In the ‘burbs, sure. In the city proper, no.

      • Tarczan

        The West Park area is still pretty nice, almost all white. They send their kids to Catholic schools. All the white police and fireman live there. It will hold out for some time.

        • Spikeygrrl

          I worked high up in the BP Building and lived first in Tremont and later in Ohio City (which at the time was the hotbed of some very cool White gentrification, in which I made it a point to live). I met my husband there.

          Still, the only things I miss are the really good mass transit system, two delis (one Jewish/Central European, one Greek), a couple of affordable but outstanding eateries, two libraries, one used book store, the Theater District (best and biggest in the USA other than Broadway), and the truly world-class Ohio City Market. A lot more than some cities have to offer, but a lot less than others.

          As for the rest of town, for all I care it can fry in Hades.

          • stonepillow

            A good used book store is my definition of civilization.

      • The All Seeing Bry

        It’s on the upswing. More gentrification is going on throughout downtown and around the near city. They have recently build multiple upscale expensive apartment buildings geared towards young successful White people.

        • Spikeygrrl

          To think I was in on the beginning!

          I’ve always had this uncanny ability to identify urban districts on the bleeding edge of a major upswing, even when I was brand new to the city. No “method,” just unerring GUT.

          There’s got to be a way to monetize that insight. I just haven’t found it yet, dangit.

          • The All Seeing Bry

            Tremont and Ohio city are still in the stage you were speaking of. Lakewood is also on the upswing. I know a dozen White people personally that moved to Lakewood in the past year, so that’s good.

            I’m actually heading to Lakewood tonight, cheers.

          • Spikeygrrl

            DH and I lived in two places in Lakewood. One was heaven. The other was Hell.

            But I will say this: Never have I lived among such a huge homosexual community which managed to stay SO unobtrusive!

            If all homosexuals were equally discreet, I might even support Homosexual Mirage. Doubtful, but stranger things have happened.

  • JohnEngelman

    A black person who thinks he has more to fear from the police than from black criminals has been reading too many history books and not enough newspapers.

    Even in the days of Jim Crow legislation blacks had more to fear from black criminals than from white police officers and the Klu Klux Klan.

  • Spikeygrrl

    “Community-oriented policing” = “Support Your Local Criminals!”

  • The All Seeing Bry

    My best friend is in the academy right now, I hope you’re wrong. Downtown is relatively safe, I’m there every day. Downtown is actually going through a gentrification process and has decreased its Black population over the years.