A new Justice Department investigation has revealed that the Cleveland Police Department demonstrates a “pattern” of using excessive and unnecessary force. In a scathing federal review, the DoJ found that Cleveland police officers do not receive “adequate training, policy guidance, support, and supervision.”
These findings come as the department is under fire for the shooting death of 12-year-old Tamir Rice that was caught on camera last month. Rice was fatally shot by a police officer who thought the toy pellet gun the boy was carrying was a real one.
“Accountability and legitimacy are essential for communities to trust their police departments, and for there to be genuine collaboration between police and the citizens they serve,” Attorney General Eric Holder said in a statement.
“Although the issues in Cleveland are complex, and the problems longstanding, we have seen in city after city where we have been engaged that meaningful change is possible. There are real, practical and concrete measures that can be taken to ensure not only that police services are delivered in a constitutional manner, but that promote public safety, officer safety, confidence and collaboration, transparency, and legitimacy.”
This new investigation echoes the findings of a review which found that Timothy Loehmann, the officer who fatally shot Rice, was deemed “unfit” for service back in 2012.
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