Cleveland overhauls police training after antisemitic posts


CLEVELAND (AP) — Cleveland will require all police officers to undergo implicit bias training and mandate social media background checks on all new hires after officials determined they could not discipline an officer over antisemitic social media posts.

In a joint statement released on Wednesday, Cleveland Mayor Justin Bibb and Police Chief Wayne Drummond said they were “frustrated and disappointed” that the officer would not face any criminal charges or internal reprimand for comments made before he was hired in 2018. But they are implementing changes that will address and identify officers’ biases before they’re hired.

The new training policies will include behavioral-based interviews, social media monitoring, implicit and explicit bias training and mandatory cultural competency training across all public safety divisions. The city said it also plans to partner with the Anti-Defamation League.

All public safety employees will be required to complete the training by the end of 2023.

Officials said they could not reprimand the officer for his comments because he made the statements before he was hired and did not violate any city policies. The city did not conduct social media checks before 2018.

The officer will have a non-disciplinary letter of counseling put in his personnel file, the city said.