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U.S. launches civil rights probe of Cleveland police

By Terry Frieden, CNN Justice Producer
updated 1:44 PM EDT, Thu March 14, 2013
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Civil investigation focuses on allegations of excessive force
  • December police chase, shooting that killed two people prompted case
  • Cleveland mayor sought federal review of incident

(CNN) -- The Justice Department launched a civil rights investigation of Cleveland police on Thursday over allegations of excessive force prompted by a deadly chase and shooting.

Assistant Attorney General Thomas Perez joined the U.S. attorney in Cleveland and top city officials to announce the investigation of the police department's policies and practices.

"The investigation will focus on use of force issues and will examine allegations that Cleveland police officers use excessive force," Perez said in Cleveland.

Mayor Frank Jackson requested an investigation following a controversial police chase and shooting in December that killed two people.

Perez said the civil scrutiny will look at police systems issues and not any culpability of individuals.

There is no criminal component of the investigation that is expected to take more than a year to complete, he said.

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