Investigator: Critics say cops misfire on training

5:49 PM, Jul 5, 2011   |    comments
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CLEVELAND - The early Monday shooting of a suspect by Cleveland Police -- at least the sixth shooting since the beginning of the year -- is prompting civil rights attorneys to question whether the city is training officers to handle tough situations correctly.

"The situations are uncertain and it's a point where your training really needs to kick in automatically, and if you haven't had it repeatedly taught to you, then that's where the problems develop," said attorney David Malik.

Malik represents Edward Henderson in a civil lawsuit against Cleveland Police. Henderson was beaten by an undetermined number of officers on New Year's Day after he was pulled over following a police chase.

The U.S. Attorney's Office is currently investigating the incident.

But it's the shootings that have draw attention more recently, including one early Monday when a Cleveland detective investigating a burglary shot and killed Dan Ficker in Parma. It happened during a fight in which police say Ficker went for the officer's gun.

The bloodshed happened roughly three weeks after another cop shooting. In that incident, an officer accidentally shot a suspect who ran into the cop while he investigated a hit-and-run involving a motorcycle.

Less than 2 months ago, a worker was hit by a stray bullet in a police shootout inside Wendy's on Pearl Road.

Cleveland Police instructor David Medina says the police department constantly reviews police incidents involving force and they will tweak how cops are trained based on findings.

"We're always reviewing, we're always adapting to change and the main thing is the safety of the officers out there," Medina said.

"I would say we're at the top of the line with our training. If we don't know something, we'll go out and find it, train it and bring it back to better our officers."


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