Cleveland police supervisors reviewed 4,427 incidents in which police used non-deadly force in the last four years and said the officers were justified in every case, reports the Cleveland Plain Dealer. The only way police could rule that every use-of-force incident was justified, some experts said, was to rubber-stamp rather than to investigate them. Prof. Dennis Kenney of John Jay College of Criminal Justice, who specializes in police use of force, said that either Cleveland’s officers are unbelievably well-trained or their investigations are cursory.
In 2000, the U.S. Justice Department opened an investigation into whether the city’s police routinely violated citizens’ constitutional rights. After two years of investigating, they found widespread problems with police guidelines for using force and investigating these incidents. The chief of the Justice Department’s Special Litigation Section lambasted Cleveland police in 2002, questioning “the competency, thoroughness, and impartiality of use of force investigations.”