A judge is ending 11 years of federal oversight of the Detroit Police Department after a marked reduction in complaints of excessive force and other serious constitutional violations.
U.S. District Judge Avern Cohn on Monday accepted a joint request by the city and Justice Department to dismiss a court-appointed monitor and enter an 18-month transitional period.
It’s a remarkable step for a police department that was under fire after cops killed nearly 50 people between 1995 and 2000. At least six of those people were unarmed and shot in the back. Nearly 20 of the victims were in custody.
“This is a different police department,” Detroit Corporation Counsel Melvin “Buth” Hollowell told the judge Monday. “This police department has worked very hard to get where it is today.”
The police department issued the following statement: “The past eleven years have brought this department from the brink of completely losing the trust of the very people we swore to serve and protect to one that now understands the true meaning of who we are. This accomplishment was not an accident; and is a direct result of the hard working men and women of this department, as well as, the great citizens of the City of Detroit.”
Steve Neavling lives and works in Detroit as an investigative journalist. His stories have uncovered corruption, led to arrests and reforms and prompted FBI investigations.