Report: Detroit police making little progress in ending civil rights violations

The Associated Press

DETROIT- A federal monitor says Detroit police have made little progress in complying with a 2-year-old agreement to end widespread abuses of suspects.

Sheryl Robinson Wood said in a July 15 report that the police department has complied with five out of 90 requirements but many holding cells remain unsafe and some are unventilated and have broken plumbing.

She also criticized an April city report on six fatal and 25 nonfatal shootings by police last year.

"There were no recommendations for changes or additions to the investigative protocols," Wood said.

The police department's public information office did not immediately return a call.

Cmdr. Gerard Simon of the department's Civil Rights Division, which is responsible for compliance with the agreement, has said police are making good progress.

In June 2003, the Justice Department and the city settled two federal lawsuits that accused the city of repeatedly violating the constitutional rights of suspects, prisoners and witnesses. Following a 30-month federal investigation, the city pledged to make significant reforms in how it uses force, detains prisoners and questions witnesses.

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