CLEVELAND― The American Civil Liberties Union of Ohio issued the following statement regarding the announcement by United States Attorney General Jeff Sessions that he would order the Department of Justice to review all existing consent decrees on policing.

The following statement may be attributed to ACLU of Ohio senior policy director Mike Brickner.

“Attorney General Sessions’ announcement is profoundly disturbing. Sessions’ statement runs counter to what we know about police reform: that constitutional policing practices actually enhance law enforcement officers’ ability to perform their jobs, improving public safety – as well as officer safety. At the same time, constitutional police practices protect the basic rights of vulnerable communities. These principles are fully compatible with one another, and are embedded into the fabric of Cleveland’s consent decree.”

“Cleveland’s consent decree was entered into after an exhaustive study of the Cleveland Division of Police uncovered systemic failures that could be solved only by significant, long-term, mandated reforms. The Department of Justice, City, and Cleveland residents came together, all recognizing that change needed to occur. The underlying issues that have plagued Cleveland for decades – excessive use of force, overuse of deadly force, uninvestigated misconduct complaints – will require many more years of strong partnership to achieve reform. Stopping now will do nothing but take us back in time.”