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Published On: Fri, Dec 5th, 2014

DOJ: Cleveland police investigated for using excessive force

From Michael Brown to Eric Garner, the police use of force is being called into question all over the country and a new report from the Justice Department raises questions in Ohio.

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.

Police violence excessive? DOG is investigating Cleveland police photo donkeyhotey  donkeyhotey.wordpress.com

Police violence excessive? DOG is investigating Cleveland police photo donkeyhotey donkeyhotey.wordpress.com

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.

After a 25-minute chase that reached speeds of more than 100 mph and ended in a school parking lot, 13 officers fired 137 rounds hitting Timothy Russell and Malissa Williams more than 20 times each, the report said.

“The officers, who were firing on the car from all sides, reported believing that they were being fired at by the suspects. It now appears that those shots were being fired by fellow officers,” the Justice Department wrote. Both Williams and Russell were killed.

Noting a video from a police helicopter captured officers arresting a man after a January 2011 police chase. After the suspect was handcuffed and lying on the ground, officers used excessive force by kicking him in the head numerous times, the report said.

Many officers were there, but none identified any fellow officers who had exacted excessive force on the suspect, and no officer was disciplined, the Justice Department said.

“Discipline is so rare that no more than 51 officers out of a sworn force of 1,500 were disciplined in any fashion in connection with a use of force incident over a three-and-a half-year period,” the report said.

The list of offenses goes on: using a taser in an ambulance, punching a 300 pound 13-year-old in the face and a controversial shooing of a 12-year old.

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About the Author

- Roxanne "Butter" Bracco began with the Dispatch as Pittsburgh Correspondent, but will be providing reports and insights from Washington DC, Maryland and the surrounding region. Contact Roxie aka "Butter" at [email protected] ATTN: Roxie or Butter Bracco

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  1. DOJ: Cleveland police investigated for using excessive force – The Global Dispatch | DonkeyHotey says:

    […] DOJ: Cleveland police investigated for using excessive force – The Global Dispatch. […]

  2. og oggilby says:

    NOTE that not ONE SINGLE cop will EVER be proscuted for anything ever. They are the enemy as is the prosecuting attorney as is the judge. They are all corrupt they are all racist and they are all for lack of a better word… Nazis one and all. Their actions speak louder than their lies.

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