The Oakland Police Department is apparently in the company of other (bigger) city police departments that won’t investigate their own. Report: Monitor's findings shed poor light on Oakland's police department – Inside Bay Area.
The report says Oakland “officers are too ready to use deadly force and if they do, clearly expect they will not be disciplined in any meaningful way,” said Sam Walker, a University of Nebraska use of force expert who read the document Wednesday. “This is incredibly serious.”
Now cops have to use force sometimes, but they should only use deadly force when it is necessary. In Oakland, it seems they are too ready to use force, even when it isn’t warranted.
Not all shootings “warrant closer scrutiny” but others “are not clearly justified,” Warshaw wrote. “We do not believe the evidence supports the existence of an imminent threat at the time the trigger is pulled,” including “cases in which a subject is shot in the back.”
Included in the findings:
- Investigating officers often insert boilerplate language into shooting reports “to provide justification for missing details.’
- The scenes of shootings are often not tightly controlled; in one case as many as 80 people entered the area, causing the possible loss of evidence.
- Shooting reports all begin with ‘a detailed history of the (victim’s) criminal record … reinforcing that a ‘bad guy’ was involved and that should be taken into account.”
- Internal affairs investigators sometimes don’t ask difficult questions and fail to find “actual justification” for use of force.
Think about that last point for a minute. Investigators fail to find justification for the use of force, yet don’t discipline officers responsible. That pretty much means that Oakland police can do anything they want, shoot anyone they want, for any reason they want, and not be held accountable in the same way you or I would. Sounds like a police state to me.