The Obama administration on Thursday issued a report accusing the Cleveland police department of using excessive and deadly force against citizens in violation of their constitutional rights, the latest development in a growing national debate over the fairness of local police tactics, especially in minority communities.
According to the Justice Department report, Cleveland police engaged in a “pattern or practice” of unnecessary force — including shooting residents, striking them in the head and spraying them with chemicals. The Justice Department and the city agreed to establish an independent monitor to oversee changes in the police department, including better training and supervision of officers. And the Justice Department urged Cleveland civic leaders to hold police accountable for their improper actions when necessary.
“In recent days, millions of people throughout the nation have come together — bound by grief and anguish — in response to the tragic deaths of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, and Eric Garner in New York City,” Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. said at a news conference. “The tragic losses of these and far too many other Americans . . . have raised urgent national questions. And they have sparked an important conversation about the sense of trust that must exist between law enforcement and the communities they serve and protect.’’
- Justice Department to open civil rights investigation in Eric Garner case (rt.com)
- Boehner: Americans ‘Deserve More Answers’ About Eric Garner’s Death (mediaite.com)
- Just How Bad Were Cleveland’s Police Abuses? (theatlantic.com)