Survey Finds Racial Gap in Approval of Cleveland Police

by Nick Castele, Ideatream (Cleveland NPR)

The monitors overseeing Cleveland’s police reform agreement with the Justice Department have laid out their plan for tracking the city’s progress.

The monitoring team hired a company to conduct a phone survey in May and filed the results with the court this week. The survey found 55 percent of Cleveland respondents said police were doing a “good” or “excellent” job overall.

But there was a racial gap in those numbers: 72 percent of white residents gave police good or excellent marks, while only 60 percent of Latino residents and 43 percent of black residents felt the same.

Monitor Matthew Barge also filed a breakdown of the data his team will follow to gauge how police work changes under the consent decree.

For instance, police reported 350 uses of force in 2015, according to data filed in court by the monitoring team. That includes “less lethal” force, such as using Tasers and tackling, as well as deadly or lethal force, Barge wrote in an email.

The recipients of 74 percent of those uses force were black residents, according to the filing. During those incidents, 134 officers and 112 members of the public were injured.

Barge wrote in the court filing that some numbers were hard to come by.

“The CPD does not collect data on stops, searches, and arrests pursuant to such activity,” he wrote. “It is currently contemplated that work will occur in earnest on new policies and procedures, including data collection systems, for stops during 2017.”