Mayor Frank Jackson: Give families of rescued Cleveland women space; employees follow rules

CLEVELAND - Mayor Frank Jackson says the outpour of support and compassion for three Cleveland kidnapping victims has been with good intention, but they all need space to transition. He also reminded his workers to follow protocol when disseminating information.

"This has been great display of our caring by our nation and our city," Jackson said. "The victims and their families have been overwhelmed by the response. Most of it has been with good intention. As we allow the victims and families to transition, we need to give them room -- space -- a time to heal."

Jackson also asked his public safety employees to "stop releasing information and records outside the established chain of command and protocol." Jackson said it's not to conceal information from the public or the media, rather to "demonstrate compassion for the victims and to ensure credibility of the investigative process."

A memo posted at city hall reads:

"During the last 48 hours, a considerable amount of investigatory information has been disclosed to entities outside law enforcement…It is a reminder to all personnel that the disclosure of sensitive law enforcement information is clearly governed by general police orders..."

Jackson said, "If anyone violates -- or we find out they have violated -- policy, we will proceed accordingly."

The mayor said some information that may have been improperly given to the media contained some facts that were not completely accurate.

"People need to be responsible of how they conduct themselves."

Amanda Berry, Gina DeJesus and Michelle Knight were found alive inside a Seymour Avenue home in May 6. Their alleged captor, Ariel Castro, is being held on $8 million bond, charged with kidnapping and rape.

Berry and DeJesus were welcomed home Wednesday by friends, family and strangers happy to see the young women alive and well.

Knight remains hospitalized and does not want to see her family right now. Friends from high school are showing up at a relative's house to drop stuff off. A balloon release is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. and a vigil will be held Saturday.

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