Cleveland Police Agree To Stop Hitting People On The Head With Guns

BY Herschel Smith
7 years, 1 month ago

CLEVELAND, Ohio — Cleveland police will stop hitting people on the head with their guns and document any time they unholster them, according to a consent decree between the U.S. Justice Department and Cleveland police released today.

The Justice Department found in a 21-month investigation that began in 2013 that Cleveland police routinely bash people on the head with their guns, sometimes accidentally firing them, according to a 58-page report released in December.

Yes, I know.  Bad muzzle discipline, bad trigger discipline, bad policing tactics, bad form all around.  If we did something like that we would be in prison.  But don’t be so surprised.  This is the same DoJ report that detailed wild shooting practices by the same police department.

Cleveland police pull their guns too fast, fire at fleeing cars and people who pose no immediate threat and ignore potential danger to bystanders, the U. S. Department of Justice found.

A biting 58-page report released Thursday concluded that police violated the Fourth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, including by shooting an underwear-clad hostage victim and an unarmed driver who made an illegal turn.

The report blames several reasons for the “unreasonable” shootings. Police often lack the training and confidence necessary to  control a situation without resorting to force. They are not required to tell their supervisors when they pull their weapons. And the prevailing police culture promotes an “us-against-them” mentality.

And police nationwide wonder why ordinary people have lost confidence in them.

Trackbacks & Pingbacks


  1. On May 26, 2015 at 10:30 pm, Contrarianthefirst said:

    If a cop is around, no one is safe.

  2. On May 27, 2015 at 6:37 am, TexTopCat said:

    Some cops are bad and should not be employed in such jobs. Some states and cities have leaders that encourage such misconduct. Exactly, why the Bill of Rights exist so that “The People” have the ultimate power and why we should never allow our gun rights to be infringed.

  3. On May 27, 2015 at 9:21 am, Contrarianthefirst said:

    Have been hearing that excuse for years. It no longer washes.

  4. On May 27, 2015 at 9:28 am, TexTopCat said:

    There are good and law abiding police. My opinion is that most are in the good column rather than the “bad” column. Now, big city police chiefs have a much lower chance of being good.
    Locally, look at the outlandish statements from the Austin Texas police chief. He was very anti-campus carry and anti-open carry. He just a few months back suggested that you “turn in” anyone you knew that has a gun related hobby as a potential threat. You would think that such an individual would have no place in our state.

  5. On May 27, 2015 at 10:48 am, TL671 said:

    There are two types of cops, bad cops, and worse cops. The worse cops are the ones breaking laws, violating rights. the bad cops are the rest, remaining silent at best, covering up the activities of the worse cops at worst.

  6. On May 27, 2015 at 1:22 pm, Ned Weatherby said:

    Unfortunately, it appears you are correct. If there were truly more “good cops” than bad, there wouldn’t be a blue wall of silence surrounding those who practice everything from unnecessary violence to misconduct. “Good cops” stands for the premise that they police their own. Nuff said.

  7. On May 27, 2015 at 12:12 pm, PJ London said:

    There were two good cops,one was Frank Serpico and the other one died.

  8. On May 26, 2015 at 11:58 pm, Daniel Barger said:

    “And police nationwide wonder why ordinary people have lost confidence in them.”
    We are way beyond that point now…. we are at the ‘and police wonder why people
    lie in ambush and shoot at them’ stage.

  9. On May 27, 2015 at 8:40 am, boogyoogyoogy said:

    If you can as a cop, only be fired and not charged with murder, for murdering a deaf native American wood carver with your service side-arm, there really isn’t any more to say is there?

    Except for that LVMPD shooting at the Costco, where no one even got a stern look, much less an actual investigation, discipline, criminal charges,,,,,, …….

  10. On May 27, 2015 at 12:27 pm, z--man said:

    When a society completely loses all faith and trust in the government and its institutions, the end result is never good.

  11. On May 27, 2015 at 2:38 pm, Jimmy the Saint said:

    “hostage victim”? Is that newspeak for “hostage”?

  12. On May 27, 2015 at 9:20 pm, Steiner said:

    Ah, yeah, right. I bet you call the PTA when someone mugs you. LOL.

  13. On May 27, 2015 at 9:43 pm, Herschel Smith said:

    I’d call the police. To write the report after my act of self defense.

  14. On May 30, 2015 at 2:36 am, Chris said:

    Much like you sound like a similar schoolgirl waking-up from her nap to blanket-hate all Police as you love to do on your home-made fashion-blog here…

  15. On May 30, 2015 at 6:34 am, DAN III said:


    Please. If you don’t like Mr. Smith’s remarks concerning badged thugs, then don’t frequent/read his blog.

    Today in FUSA, the federal and state Constitutions are dead. Thugs with badges are there to enforce the diktats of those elites one calls “government”, upon the citizens. It is called control.

    There are no good cops. None.

  16. On May 28, 2015 at 8:55 pm, Heyoka said:

    One may resist an unlawful arrest up to and including the death of the officer. One may also resist unreasonable force if the force used may be reasonably found to have produced serious bodily harm or death. A person may also act in the defense of a third party being placed in such situation.

    John Bad Elk v. United States (1900)

    This is the situation. the courts and the legislature combining with the executive have reduced the common law to an extinct species. This is our due process as much as the resort to the Bill of Rights itself. This was our law that applies to “ignorance is no excuse”. This is our protection against an out of control government. this is what happens when we forget the warnings of the Framers and the history of our ancestors in the struggle for and continuation of liberty.

    The price of liberty is eternal vigilance. We forgot and when we awoke because we finally felt the noose about our throats we find ourselves in the precipice of tyranny and despotism. We are at fault and meek resolve is not going to change a damned thing.

    Step by step and inch by inch our laws and Constitution have been chipped away by usurpations and tyrannical acts of lawlessness by those who consider themselves our betters. They hade their crimes in the form of laws that are devoid of substance except to defraud the people of their birthright.

    “It will be of little avail to the people that the laws are made by men of their own choice if the laws be so voluminous that they cannot be read, or so incoherent that they cannot be understood.”

    “Do not separate text from historical background. If you do, you will have perverted and subverted the Constitution, which can only end in a distorted, bastardized form of illegitimate government.”

    “I believe there are more instances of the abridgement of freedom of the people by gradual and silent encroachments by those in power than by violent and sudden usurpations.”
    James Madison
    I think this says it all….

  17. On June 3, 2015 at 8:45 am, Rob Pincus said:

    The headline here is distracting, but there actually IS a serious issue in there: Cleveland is apparently the latest agency to join the “…document anytime they unholster them…” club. That trend, to consider unholstering a documentable use of force, is more and more common. Police Officers pull there guns out quite often in comparison to how often they shoot them. Even in my short LE career, I unholstered my gun in several instances, despite (thankfully) never needing to fire it. The reasons are many and varied, but keep in mind that ANYONE who disobeys or threatens an officer does so fully knowing that they are armed. Drawing the gun in order to deter further dangerous activities is often both justified and prudent. Unfortunately, these policies add another (often unnecessary) layer to the decision making process for officers on the street. Knowing that these policies are going to be more common, we started addressing it with the “staged” position (hand on gun, gesturing & giving verbal commands) years ago in our LE Courses. It is vital that undoing retention devices is part of that step. The concern is that if an officer puts there hand on the gun, but doesn’t defeat retention, a sudden need to use the gun could cause deviation from their normal procedure. During a normal draw stroke, we teach officers to defeat retention as they get their grip, not as a separate step. In order to be consistent, “staging” a draw should also include defeating the retention devices. In training, the “stage” command can/should be followed with either with shoot commands or non-shooting.

  18. On June 3, 2015 at 9:34 am, Herschel Smith said:

    You make some very good points Rob. Retention devices are a critical feature of the tactical maneuver. A friend, former captain of a large urban police force, has told me that we (he and I) were both better trained (because we actually went to the range and shot periodically) than most LEOs (because in his estimation, most LEOs in his department shot their weapons only when they had to requalify, or once per year).

    I actually don’t have a problem with LEOs unholstering their weapons as a deterrent tactic. I don’t begrudge them the safety they seek. What I have a problem with is the fact that I cannot do the same thing. That makes no sense to me under the law (viz. Tennessee v. Garner). It’s also not reasonable. Furthermore, there is a huge gulf between unholstering and pointing, because now muzzle discipline becomes part of the calculus. I don’t trust most LEOs when it comes to muzzle discipline. Neither did my friend, the former captain who worked with LEOs all of his working life. There are many reasons for my mistrust, one having to do with sympathetic muscle reflexes.

    Finally, all of this is yet another step removed from using a handgun as a device with which to bludgeon. Only a moron would do something like that. It’s dangerous for both the bludgeoner and the one being bludgeoned.

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This article is filed under the category(s) Police and was published May 26th, 2015 by Herschel Smith.

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