Wednesday, May 23, 2001

The federal investigation

        What is the investigation?

        The investigation examines the patterns and practices of the Cincinnati Police Division to determine whether there are civil rights violations.

        Under what authority?

        The Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994 authorizes the attorney general to conduct investigations and, if warranted, file civil litigation to eliminate a “pattern or practice of conduct by law enforcement officers ... that deprives persons of rights, privileges, or immunities secured or protected by the Constitution or laws of the United States.”

        Who ordered it?

        Attorney General John Ashcroft, responding to a request for help from Mayor Charlie Luken during the April protests and riots, ordered the investigation May 7.

        Who conducts it?

        Lawyers and consultants from the Special Litigation Section in the Office of Civil Rights will conduct the investigation.

        What could be the outcome?

        The result of the investigation could produce a court-enforced settlement, known as a consent decree, in which the police department agrees to make certain changes that would be overseen by a monitor. This has occurred in Pittsburgh, Steubenville, Ohio, and with the New Jersey State Police.

        How will the investigation proceed?

        Lawyers and consultants from the U.S. Department of Justice arrive in Cincinnati today to begin investigating whether the Cincinnati Police Division violates citizens' civil rights.

        These are among the people expected to be interviewed:

        • John Shirey, city manager

        • Mayor Charlie Luken

        • Greg Baker, acting safety director

        • Tom Streicher, Cincinnati police chief

        • Assistant police chiefs: Lt. Col. Rick Biehl, Lt. Col. Richard Janke, Lt. Col. James Smith and Lt. Col. Ron Twitty

        • Cecil Thomas, director of the Cincinnati Human Relations Commission

        • Norma Holt Davis, president of the Cincinnati office of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People

        • Kimberlee Gray, director of the Office of Municipal Investigation, which investigates complaints about police

        • Keith Fangman, president of the Fraternal Order of Police

Police under scrutiny
Civil rights procedures
Experts reviewing the case
- The federal investigation

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