Justice Dept.: Cleveland Police Has Pattern of Excessive Force

Catherine E. Shoichet et al., CNN, December 4, 2014

A sign you’d expect to see in a war zone, hanging at a police station. Two unarmed civilians shot more than 20 times after a high-speed chase. A man in the middle of a medical emergency, jolted with a Taser while strapped to a gurney.

These are alarming examples, federal investigators say, that show police in Cleveland have been using unnecessary and unreasonable force at a “significant rate,” employing “dangerous tactics” that put the community at risk.

A report released Thursday details a nearly two-year Justice Department investigation which found that Cleveland police use guns, Tasers, pepper spray and their fists excessively, unnecessarily or in retaliation. Officers also have used excessive force on those “who are mentally ill or in crisis,” the Justice Department said.

Now a federal court will keep tabs on the Cleveland police as part of a legal agreement going forward.

The Justice Department’s investigation started in 2013, after several incidents, including a controversial case the previous year when more than 100 officers were involved in a high-speed chase that ended with the deaths of two unarmed civilians.

{snip}

The results of the federal review come as the Cleveland Division of Police is under fire for the November fatal shooting of 12-year-old Tamir Rice. {snip}

Cleveland police Chief Calvin Williams has defended Rice’s shooting, saying he reached for an air pistol that was “indistinguishable from a real firearm.”

While Thursday’s announcement was set in Cleveland, Attorney General Eric Holder said Thursday that the problems it highlights aren’t contained by city limits.

“As President Obama and I have indicated, the time has come, we think, to do even more. The tragic losses of these and far too many other Americans, including just last month, the shooting death of 12-year-old Tamir Rice here in Cleveland, have really raised urgent national questions,” Holder said Thursday. “And they have sparked an important conversation about the sense of trust that must exist between law enforcement and the communities that they serve and protect.”

What’s next?

Authorities say Cleveland police need better training and more accountability going forward.

“Deeply troubling to us was that some of the specially trained investigators who are charged with conducting unbiased reviews of officers’ use of deadly force admitted to us that they conduct their investigations with the goal of casting the accused officer in the most positive light possible,” the Justice Department’s report said.

The department fails to review its officers’ use of force, investigate other allegations of misconduct, “respond to patterns of at-risk behavior,” enforce appropriate policies and establish “effective community policing strategies,” according to the Justice Department.

{snip}

As a result of the findings, the city and Justice Department have signed an agreement “to develop a court-enforceable consent decree that will include a requirement for an independent monitor who will oversee and ensure necessary reforms.”

{snip}

Topics: ,

Share This

We welcome comments that add information or perspective, and we encourage polite debate. If you log in with a social media account, your comment should appear immediately. If you prefer to remain anonymous, you may comment as a guest, using a name and an e-mail address of convenience. Your comment will be moderated.
  • dd121

    Look the only thing that stands between me and the chaos of blacks, are the police.

    • LexiconD1

      And, your second amendment right to own guns.

      • See The Future

        Where Europeans are completely screwed.

        • LexiconD1

          What are the gun rights, or ownership in Eastern Europe like nowadays? I’m not familiar with them. Something tells me, if you want a weapon that’s banned everywhere else in Europe, you might be able to obtain one there?

          But, that’s just my thoughts. I could be talking out my ass…

  • rebelcelt

    When oh when will a leader with national recognition, finally say that Blacks are the problem. They exhaust our welfare funds. They commit so many small and large acts of crime. They randomly destroy property , have the vast majority of their children out of wedlock. Etc, etc.

    • JohnEngelman

      Two generations after the Civil Rights Act of 1964 was passed I think it is time to admit that things have not turned out as planned. The idea was that when blacks were not discriminated against they would perform and behave as well as whites.

      • Alexandra1973

        The thing is they’re not performing well, ergo there must still be racism, in the eyes of the ignorant.

      • LexiconD1

        We’re talking blacks here, it’s more like three generations.

    • See The Future

      Good luck finding an honest politician

  • JohnEngelman

    The problem is black crime, abetted by insufficient force used by the police.

    • APaige

      Yes. That is the real pattern.

  • guest

    “Eric Holder says it is a national problem.”

    Correction: Eric Holder is a national problem.

    • Reynardine

      Black people are a national problem.

  • Tim_in_Indiana

    Let’s make a deal: no more police patrolling of black neighborhoods, as long as the blacks promise to stay in their own neighborhoods and out of white neighborhoods. Problem solved! No more police, no more excessive use of force. Then blacks can just stew in their own violence.

    • APaige

      They fail, as in most endeavors, to realize the cops are there to protect them from me. By ‘law’ I have to call the police to report a crime. If the police were not there ‘justice’ could be very swift.

    • LHathaway

      Actually, I suspect whites would take that deal without preconditions. No police in black neighborhoods. Your stipulation doesn’t even make sense, or at least it is irrelevant to the policy of no police in black neighborhoods. No police in black neighborhoods would mean more police in white neighborhoods. Which would end up meaning less police/less tax.

    • dd121

      Since when do blacks pay any attention to “rules”?

  • libertarian1234

    “Eric Holder says it is a national problem.
    I wonder if this Rat Faced dork thinks getting the police to back off on policing blacks is some kind of advantage to blacks in general? Because it wouldn’t make one iota of difference.

    What we’re seeing is Black Terrorism pursued to achieve more Black Privileges, but they can’t even articulate what those privileges might be.

    It’s very possible they don’t even know, because blacks cannot reason in coherent, logical terms. They indulge in pie-in-the-sky fantasies that sound EXACTLY as if they came from the mind of a child.

    Such are the drawbacks of a people whose evolutionary process halted thousands of years ago.

    That they were foisted on us amounts to the greatest curse ever wrought on a people.

    I’ve got a hunch we might be on the cusp of a paradigm shift where blacks outrun their defense.

  • Easyrhino

    That group that comprises 4% of the US population yet commits more than 50% of all violent crime is the national problem.

  • A Freespeechzone

    Criminal negroes have a pattern of unwarranted excessive force against Whites.

    • LHathaway

      Many of them who have been law abiding their whole lives are willing to cross the line when it comes to force against whites. For some of them this is the only thing that makes them a criminal. I’m willing to bet way, way, less than half of those who commit crimes against whites are caught. I don’t recall reading that in the color of crime. Perhaps this fact was considered too ‘inflammatory’.

    • Michigan Patriot

      Negroes need more”” training from their parent or lucky, parents “. Where did their supposed Christian ministers get their Biblical training ? Sharpie Sharpton or Jesse Jerkson or Rev. J. Wrong,eerr, Wright or calypso Louie Farra-con ?

  • [Guest]

    >>>“And they have sparked an important conversation about the sense of trust that must exist between law enforcement and the communities that they serve and protect.”

    Just what kind of “conversation” should those who enforce the law have with a “community” that produces most of the criminals, Mr. Holder?

    • DiversityIsDeath

      How stupid Holder is. There’s really nothing to discuss. Every race– White, Oriental, Hispanic- understands that cops arrest criminals. For some reason, this is a big confusing notion to negroes which needs to be explained and reiterated and elaborated on ad nauseum. (And they STILL don’t get it.)

  • jim

    I have been saying right after the 12-year-old was shot….he had to be killed by a black cop since there has been no sign of the usual race hustlers.

    • Alexandra1973

      Yes, the cop was black.

      • jim

        Thanks…it was unclear to me.

  • tobytylersf

    Well, dang, who is in charge of the Justice Department, anyway? Some nasty old racist?

    Oh, wait…

  • Max

    Many of these brain-damaged/sadistic returning “war hero” police hires have been using excessive force for a long time. Suddenly it matters because some celebrated black fools/criminals were killed along with the cases cited here. We can be sure that some entirely inappropriate solution will be employed at a cost of billions while crime increases.

    Yeah, let’s use Cleveland as a model for how to fix America.

  • Mark Caplan

    Cleveland’s police oppress and harass minorities and the officers are poorly trained. Whose fault is that? The city of Cleveland is 63% black and Hispanic.

  • Lkoehn

    Being considered “black enough” is what is wrong with the black community. Where would the DemoRATZ be if the blacks left the DemoRATZ Plantation?

  • ghettovalley

    “Cleveland police has record of excessive violence” Cleveland negroes have an even worse record of excessive violence. What could the Cleveland police do, kindly ask these hardened criminals to stop, and if they don’t, then what? Challenge them to a tickle fight?

    • Michigan Patriot

      Because they are anti-white racists and pro-Marxism !

    • Who Me?

      I never wondered about it before, but I just realized why I’ve never been beaten or shot by the police! I’m generally law-abiding, and the few interactions I have had with the police were completely violence free on both sides. Apparently this is because I’m white, according to all the folks out there screaming, “Hands up, don’t shoot”. Seems to me it’s because I acted like a civilized human, did what the cops asked me to do–WHEN they asked–and just in general cooperated with them and acted like an adult. I don’t recall anyone specifically sitting me down and informing me that I needed to do this, or telling me that unpleasant things were likely to occur if I didn’t. I just somehow knew that if I acted like a damn fool, the cops were going to treat me like one. Must be my white privilege, huh?

  • Evette Coutier

    It’s amazing that the loudest pro-black supporters are whites who have no experience with blacks in predominantly black environments. They are brainwashed emotional children living in a fantasy.

    • serious123

      If you want your kids to grow up without any animosity towards blacks make sure you raise them in an all white community and thus protect them from the truth.

      • Alexandra1973

        I live in a community that’s only 0.2% black, so my son gets to watch certain videos on YouTube.

  • Reynardine

    Beautiful.

  • Lord Sandwich

    Anyone who breaks the orange muzzle off an airsoft gun does so to make it look more convincing. They shouldn’t be surprised when the ruse is successful. I’m from the Cleveland area. There are some very nice places there, but it’s like a checkerboard of civilization and ghetto. Civilization is trying very hard to endure there, struggling against the black undertow.

  • Lkoehn

    The US Justice [?] Dept. suffers from lack of force. When did riots and looting become a legitimate legal form of protest. Shoot looters!

  • Mark Caplan

    My point was that it isn’t surprising that a city run by a large black and Hispanic majority would have a dysfunctional police force — and a dysfunctional everything else. The whites left Cleveland long ago. I might add, the same is true of Ferguson, MO, where blacks became the majority in 1999.