The Justice Department helped make history Friday morning.
At 10:30 a.m. in Cincinnati City Council chambers, Attorney General John Ashcroft signed the use of force and racial profiling settlements designed to improve police-community relations and resolve a lawsuit filed by the American Civil Liberties Union.
The group went to court in March 2001, accusing cops of illegally targeting and harassing African Americans for the past 30-years. A month later, Mayor Charlie Luken invited the federal government to review operations following the riot-sparking, fatal shooting of an unarmed black man by a white officer in Over-the-Rhine. Keeping its recommendations in mind, negotiators representing the city, police, Black United Front, and ACLU clocked close to 100 hours in meetings to form a collaborative.
Details include the creation of Community Problem Oriented Policing (CPOP), as well as a Citizen Complaint Authority, mutual accountability between the police and citizens, fair, equitable, and courteous treatment for all, and monitoring and dispute resolution.
Ashcroft called the "unprecedented agreement" a model to serve other cities striving to solve racial tensions between police and citizens.