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Originally posted by apacheman
reply to post by schuyler
`Most of those cops are bad cops, one way or the other, and a few seem to be genuinely psychopathic, based upon their propensity to deliberately escalate trivial situations in order to indulge in completely unnecessary violence. The fact that their fellow officers are aware of their behaviors and have failed to rein them in or hold them legally accountable makes those fellow offices just as culpable as the perps.
The great majority of the City’s police officers are honorable law enforcement professionals who risk their physical safety and well-being for the public good. However, a pattern of excessive force exists as a result of a subset of officers who use force improperly, and is caused by a number of systemic deficiencies that exist in spite of SPD’s recent reform efforts.
We find that SPD officers engage in a pattern or practice of unnecessary or excessive force in violation of the Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution and Section 14141. The pattern is the result of inadequate policies, supervision, discipline and training.
The findings we made from examining just SPD’s own use of force statements are compelling. We find that approximately 20% of those incidents involved the unnecessary or excessive use of force. We also find that SPD officers were particularly prone to resorting to excessive force when employing batons, using unnecessary or excessive force 57% of the time. Additionally, we reviewed dozens of other cases that may have involved unconstitutional force, but that we could not conclusively categorize as such because of deficient reporting or incomplete evidence. Table 1 provides a visual illustration of the pattern of excessive force uncovered in our review of SPD use of force reports.
Primarily through our review of SPD’s own documents, we find the following unconstitutional patterns in SPD’s use of force: (1) the use of excessive force in the course of arrests for minor offenses; (2) the use of excessive force inflicted by multiple officers on one person; (3) the premature or excessive use of impact weapons, such as batons and flashlights; (4) the use of excessive force on subjects who were already restrained; and (5) the use of excessive force in response to individuals’ expression of their First Amendment rights. Below we discuss each of these five observed patterns.
We identified multiple cases in which SPD officers failed to report the use of force at all, including incidents involving pushing and shoving. In some cases, the officers used euphemisms such as “escorts to the ground” and “guiding” suspects to the ground. Additionally, our investigation uncovered at least 17 instances in which officers were identified as using force in other officers’ use of force statements, but were omitted from the summary portion of the use of force packet. This means that SPD did not track these officers’ uses of force. Furthermore, half of OPA Investigation Section (“IS”) investigations we reviewed that related to complaints of use of force did not have an accompanying use of force report, despite the clear application of some level of force. Officers also consistently describe their actions in use of force incidents in isolation without referencing whether other officers used force or the timing of other officers’ uses of force. This hinders the ability of supervisors or OPA to determine the full scope of the use of force at any incident.
We also find that when officers do report, they routinely use patterned and non-descriptive language in their use of force reports to justify their actions. For example, instead of clearly articulating the type, nature, and seriousness of resistance exhibited by the subject that preceded the use of force, officers consistently use language such as, “the subject continued to resist,” or the subject “took a fighting stance” or “struggled.” Additionally, we consistently saw cases in which officers justified their uses of force by reporting that an individual “refused to remove his arms from underneath his body” or “tucked his hand under his body.” Obviously, as discussed above, officers have good reason to require a subject to show his hands. However, if these situations are a common cause of the need to use force, SPD should review them carefully to determine if additional training or other tactics could accomplish safe compliance.
The reporting failures relating to use of force are caused, in part, by deficiencies in SPD policies relating to the reporting of use of force. Currently, SPD’s policy requires that force be reported whenever an officer “uses deadly force, physical force or less lethal force as defined in Section I of th[e] policy.” Department Policy & Procedures (“DP&P”) 6.240.XI.A. SPD defines “physical force” as anything less than deadly or less lethal force that “causes an injury, could reasonably be expected to cause an injury, or results in complaint of injury.” DP&P 6.240.I.D. The policy on its face is vague, leaves too much room for officer discretion in reporting force, and excludes the reporting of force that should be reported, as will be discussed below.
Originally posted by OutKast Searcher
If you become a cop...then you are automatically an a-hole?