Rep. Marcia Fudge (D-Ohio), who represents Cleveland, said the investigation was “essential” to rebuilding trust between the police department and the city.
“It is essential to examine not only this case, but to also carefully review the practices and policies of the Cleveland Police Department over time,” said Fudge in a statement. “This review will help to restore and build trust between the community and the officers who are sworn to protect and serve them.”
Fudge joined Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson last December in requesting a DOJ investigation of the department after a police chase ended with 137 bullets being fired by more than a dozen officers, killing two unarmed suspects.
Perez said the investigation would examine whether there is a “pattern or practice of excessive force” within the department.
“We initiated our investigation only after a careful, considered review process that spanned police activity during the past several years.”
Perez, in addition to his role at DOJ, is rumored to be President Obama's likely nominee for secretary of Labor in his second term.
— This story was updated at 1:16 p.m.