Justice Department Investigation Finds Cleveland Police Department Is Poorly Trained, Resorts to Excessive Force Too Often

The results are not good.

Image via ABC

During a press conference this afternoon, the U.S. Department of Justice released the findings of a probe into the Cleveland Police Department, determining that officers are poorly trained and too quick to resort to excessive force.

The Associated Press reports that the investigation was launched in the wake of string of alarming incidents involving the police department. Perhaps the most egregious is a November 2012 incident where two unarmed suspects were shot to death after officers fired an astonishing 137 bullets at their vehicle following a high-speed chase: 

The department found a systemic pattern of reckless and inappropriate use of force by officers and concerns about search-and-seizure practices. It also said officers frequently violated people's civil rights because of faulty tactics, inadequate training and a lack of supervision and accountability.

Officers' excessive use of force has created deep mistrust in Cleveland, especially in the black community, the report concluded.

We saw too many incidents in which officers accidentally shot someone either because they fired their guns accidentally or because they shot the wrong person, the report said.

The investigation, which began in March 2013, examined close to 600 incidents spanning 2010 to 2013. Furthermore, the Associated Press notes that the police department chose not to provide several documents that investigators were interested in reviewing. 

One unsurprising, yet damning revelation of the 58-page report is that officers "admitted to [investigators] that they conduct their investigations with the goal of casting the accused officer in the most positive light possible." 

On Nov. 22, Cleveland Police Officer Tim Loehmann shot and killed 12-year-old Tamir Rice after mistaking his toy gun for a real one. Surveillance footage showed that Loehmann opened fire seconds after his police cruiser stopped near Rice.

[via Associated Press]

Latest in Pop Culture