Cleveland cases deemed unreasonable use of force

AP News
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Posted: Dec 05, 2014 2:51 AM

Among the Cleveland police confrontations cited Thursday by the U.S. Department of Justice as unreasonable or excessive use of force:

RESTRAINED AND KICKED

After leading officers on a brief chase, a man got out of his van and walked into a group of trees. An officer approached the man with his weapon drawn, and the man followed commands to lie down on the ground and spread his arms and legs. After the man was restrained and on his stomach, officers began kicking and striking the man. He was later taken to the hospital with a broken bone near his eye.

13-YEAR-OLD PUNCHED

After officers arrested a 13-year-old boy for shoplifting, he was handcuffed and placed in a police vehicle, where he began kicking the door and an officer in the leg. The officer then sat on the legs of the handcuffed boy and punched him three to four times until the boy was "stunned" and had a bloody nose.

STUNNED WHILE STRAPPED TO GURNEY

Officers assisted a man who had suffered several seizures into an ambulance, where he was strapped onto a gurney. The man became angry and tried to unstrap himself, balling his fist. An officer threatened to use a stun gun on him, but the man continued to try to stand up and threatened to hurt the officer. The officer then stunned him while he was still strapped to the gurney.

PEPPER SPRAYED IN CUFFS

Officers placed a mentally ill man in handcuffs for making threats to "blow up the government." Because the man was spitting on officers, they placed a hood — called a spit sock — over the man's head. When the man was placed in the police vehicle, he kicked at the windows and continued to spit. An officer ordered him to stop, and then shot pepper spray over the spit sock. The man was required to wear the spit sock and was not decontaminated until he arrived at a hospital later.

SHOT INSIDE CAR

After a driver cut off another car while attempting to make a right turn from a center lane, an officer approached the driver with his gun drawn. The officer later said he felt "uneasy" because he couldn't see the driver's hands. The officer ordered the driver to turn off the car and show his hands, but the driver said he was afraid to move because of the officer's gun. When the officer attempted to lean in and turn off the vehicle himself, his gun discharged, striking the driver in the chest. The driver survived.

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Source: U.S. Department of Justice