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Cleveland Officers Barred From Shooting at Vehicles

August 30, 2013  | 

A new order essentially bars Cleveland police from shooting at or from a moving vehicle, city officials announced Wednesday in what is the latest reform at a department where the use of force has been widely criticized.

The change, announced at a City Hall news conference, is one of 26 recommended as part of a two-year review into the department's use-of-force policies and practices by Washington, D.C.-based Police Executive Research Forum, or PERF.

"We're just trying to do the right thing," Police Chief Michael McGrath told reporters, adding that the change had nothing to do with a controversial November 2012 police chase that ended with two unarmed suspects shot to death.

Read the full Plain Dealer story.

Comments (8)

Displaying 1 - 8 of 8

R.Wierzslow @ 8/30/2013 12:36 PM

As a retired sergeant from this department, I can say there has always been a policy prohibiting officers to shoot at moving vehicles. The exception being the occupant used the vehicle as a form of deadly force against the officer. This new policy appears to indicate that officers cannot use deadly force against a vehicle that is trying to run them down. (Even if the officer did everything possible to stay out of harms way.) This new policy attempts to cover the city government against liable and leaves the officer and the police union to fend for themselves. Of course, liable policy writing has been tried in other issues. It almost never works out in the end.

Capt. Crunch @ 9/2/2013 2:18 PM

I think Chief McGrath, opened up a can of worms here because there are always extenuating circumstances where a officer may have to shoot at or from a vehicle.

425Ranger @ 9/2/2013 4:21 PM

This is criminally dangerous. Get ready for the "drive bys" because no cop can shoot back... Gang bangs aiming at officers on foot, just drop the plate and have at it boys!! Ridiculous.

George @ 9/2/2013 6:46 PM

This is a negligent disregard for the implied safety of officers during the course of carrying out their expected duties under their job description (something that should be well defined in the Department SOP). All officers should come together and either contact their State Attorney General or obtain an attorney to represent them before the city and the Chief. Cities and Chiefs are not God. Just because they can dream it up does NOT mean they can do it.

Chief B @ 9/3/2013 7:14 AM

I have a great idea, just take the guns away from the police. When you read these articles, it's always the police's fault. Every banger was getting their life back in order, or they've started going to church, yadda, yadda, yadda! Now you restrict the response on UOF, and the officers are going to hessitate. We all know what happens then.

Trigger @ 9/3/2013 12:22 PM

I applaud the one member who voted against this ignorance. What will the council vote on next. Why would you tie the hands of law enforcement?

OldLT @ 9/3/2013 1:59 PM

"...two unarmed suspects were shot to death." Were they driving? If so, they were armed with a 3-4000 lb weapon. There has to be flexibility to allow the officers to make the decisions to keep themselves safe. As for PERF, an excellent organization that occasionally gets in the way of itself trying to limit all liability in all situations. It can't be done.

Ima Leprechaun @ 9/4/2013 4:43 PM

It's nice to see Cleveland finally catching up with the rest of Ohio. Ohio Peace Officer's Basic Training has taught Officers to avoid firing FROM a moving vehicle for over 40 years. Firing at any vehicle trying to run you down or drag you down the street is completely fine since the car is a deadly weapon. The shooting they referred to above came at the end of a chase that should never have been a chase in the first place. And to be honest it was much closer to a circus than a chase.

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