Attorney General Eric Holder will announce the findings of a Justice Department civil rights investigation into the Cleveland Police Department Thursday afternoon. Investigators have been examining whether there are any patterns of unnecessary and excessive force. This is the same kind of investigation the Justice Department launched into the Ferguson Police Department after one of its officers, Darren Wilson, shot and killed Michael Brown, an unarmed 18-year-old.
The announcement this afternoon is an intermediary step in the process of the investigation. Should the Justice Department determine there is a pattern or practice of the use of unnecessary and excessive force, it will start working with the city to come to an agreement--called a "consent decree"--about what changes must be implemented within the police department. While such agreements are tailored to the problems within the specific department, they usually include more training, agreeing to federal monitoring, and a list of specific changes to department practices. The Justice Department recently announced a consent decree with the Albuquerque Police Department.
Holder will make this announcement at approximately 1:15p.m. from Cleveland, where he is hosting a round table discussion as part of a tour of several U.S. cities where he will meet with local leaders and discuss relations between the community and law enforcement. He is also expected to visit Memphis, Chicago, Philadelphia, and Oakland in the coming weeks.