Free Republic
Browse · Search
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

DOJ Drops Suit Against City of Columbus Police
WCMH4 (NBC) ^ | 9/4/02 | AP

Posted on 09/05/2002 5:13:16 AM PDT by smith288

COLUMBUS, Ohio -- A federal lawsuit accusing the city's Police Department of civil rights violations was dismissed Wednesday by a federal judge at the request of the Justice Department, the city and police union said.

Lawsuit Dropped
DOJ Drops FOP Lawsuit

Judge John Holschuh's ruling says he dismissed the case because of an agreement reached between the city and the Fraternal Order of Police. It followed an exchange of letters in which the city outlined the steps it has taken to improve the police department since the lawsuit was filed in 1999.

The FOP said the dismissal marks the first time that the Justice Department has asked that a pending police case be dropped.

Similar cases in Pittsburgh, Los Angeles, Washington, D.C., Montgomery County, Md., and other cities resulted in agreements that imposed broad federal rules, federal monitors and the expenditure of millions of dollars by the cities or counties involved, the police union said.

In the lawsuit, the Justice Department had accused officers of routinely violating people's civil rights through illegal searches, false arrests and excessive force. The lawsuit said the abuses were condoned because police supervisors didn't adequately discipline the officers who committed them.

The city and police union denied the allegations.

Columbus became the first city in the nation to challenge a Justice Department lawsuit that alleged a pattern of civil rights violations by a police department.

In a letter on Wednesday to Ralph Boyd, assistant attorney general for civil rights, Mayor Michael Coleman asked that the case be dismissed based on improvements the city is making.

"However, protracted and expensive litigation between the Department of Justice and the city of Columbus is counterproductive to those efforts," Coleman said in the letter.

He said the city has changed the way it handles citizen complaints, implemented new procedures on use of force, installed video and audio recorders in cruisers, and has taken new steps to address racial profiling.

"We are committed to continued improvement in our Division of Police and have no intention of stopping this process simply because the city is no longer a defendant in a lawsuit," the mayor said.

A message seeking comment was left with the Department of Justice.

The FOP said the dismissal of the case vindicates officers "and reflects the personal, professional and financial commitment of the members of the FOP."

Coleman said in the letter that the city would provide the Department of Justice with videotaped copies of recruit and in-service training courses. He said the changes the city has made will be incorporated into officers' training.

A federal magistrate recommended two years ago against dismissing the case. But U.S. Magistrate Norah McCann King did rule that the Justice Department should have to prove the city was responsible for violations by its officers, which would make it harder for the department to prove its case.

TOPICS: Front Page News; Government; News/Current Events; US: Ohio; US: Washington
KEYWORDS: columbus; cpd; fop; government; justice; ohio; police
First PD that didnt buckle under the Federal DOJ and win.

I sometimes wondered if my dad would come home from time to time because of his service of protecting us from crime in Columbus. If you cant say that and cannot add anything of value to this thread, then please move on as I know there are haters and baiters who do not acknowledge people like my father and their risk they take up when they pin on the badge.

1 posted on 09/05/2002 5:13:16 AM PDT by smith288
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies]

To: smith288
Protecting people from crime is the job of police officers. That includes protection from criminals in the police department. Sometimes the department has to get a jump start to get their work going.
2 posted on 09/05/2002 5:23:28 AM PDT by FreePaul
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: FreePaul
In certain circumstances you are correct. But in the Columbus vs DOJ case, there was no criminal according to the Federal judge who dropped the suit. What "jump starting" is needed when no wrong doing is proven. Just because the internal affairs unit didnt find anything, doesnt mean it corrupt and grounds for the Feds to jump in.
3 posted on 09/05/2002 5:47:47 AM PDT by smith288
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: smith288
And my apologies for my bad spelling and grammar this morning.
4 posted on 09/05/2002 5:49:52 AM PDT by smith288
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794 is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson