Dan Gilmore / May 27, 2015

Cleveland Police to Do Paperwork if They Pull Out Their Gun

It’s difficult to envision how police officers in Cleveland will do their jobs. The city settled with the Department of Justice and agreed to make changes in the department — some commonsense rules, some extreme restrictions bordering on punishment. “At a time when the Obama administration has bemoaned the lack of data surrounding the use of force by the police, even when people are killed, Cleveland has agreed to document every time officers so much as unholster their guns,” The New York Times reports. “Police supervisors will investigate the uses of force in much the same way that officers investigate crimes. … The new rules in Cleveland prohibit officers from using force against people for talking back or as punishment for running away. Pistol whipping is prohibited, and so is firing warning shots, the agreement says.” Just imagine Al Sharpton getting his way and the United States instituting a federal police force. Leaving aside the very serious question of home rule, this is the kind of bureaucracy the officers would have to wade through — responding instinctively will result in mounds of paperwork. And when was the last time a bureaucracy improved anything? More…

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