Cleveland Consent Decree Monitor Reverses Course on Ayesha Bell-Hardaway After Community Backlash Over Forced Resignation

click to enlarge Ayesha Bell-Hardaway - CWRU headshot
CWRU headshot
Ayesha Bell-Hardaway

Following backlash from local organizations including Black Lives Matter Cleveland, the Cleveland chapter of the NAACP and the Norman S. Minor Bar Association over what former deputy monitor Ayesha Bell-Hardaway said was her forced resignation from the team overseeing the DOJ's consent decree with the city of Cleveland and its police department, head monitor Hassan Aden today said he wants Bell-Hardaway to return to her position.

Bell-Hardaway said Aden sought to demote her to a community relations position after she appeared on NPR for an interview to discuss the murder of George Floyd. She resigned instead.

Aden, in a statement and letter today, said he's reversed course due to community outreach that he's heard "loud and clear" and will not accept her resignation, should she want to return.

"This decision comes after my careful consideration and openness to community input," he wrote. “... Often, in many cities, the community voice is not heard or considered, this is not the case here, I heard you and acted upon that message.”

The previously mentioned organizations had this week said they thought Aden should resign, as his behavior in the incident indicated to them that he was not equipped to lead the team tasked with correcting what the Feds found was a years-long pattern and practice of misconduct by the police department.

In his letter, Aden said he's recently talked with Bell-Hardaway about returning to the job. She told Ideastream Public Media she has not yet made a decision.

Aden's full letter is below.

About The Author

Vince Grzegorek

Vince Grzegorek has been with Scene since 2007 and editor-in-chief since 2012. He previously worked at Discount Drug Mart and Texas Roadhouse.
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