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AP Investigative Reports Reveals That Police Broke Multiple Safety Guidelines During Hundreds of Deadly Encounters 


An Associated Press investigation found that officers often violated guidelines intended to safely restrain and subdue people, leading to hundreds of deaths. These violations typically involved using dangerous restraint techniques or excessive use of Tasers.

Key findings include:


  1. Restraint Violations: Officers frequently pinned individuals face down, restricting their breathing, often continuing even after handcuffing.

  2. Taser Misuse: In many cases, Tasers were used excessively, far beyond the recommended duration or number of shocks.

  3. Misapplied Force: Some violations were due to officers misinterpreting situations, prematurely using force, or continuing to use force even when the person was under control.

  4. Impact on Vulnerable Individuals: Many who died were on drugs or had medical conditions, making them more susceptible to the effects of misapplied force.

Over a decade, AP reviewed over 1,000 deaths where force other than firearms was used. In nearly half, medical officials cited police actions as a contributing factor, although best practices adherence was often unclear due to poor documentation.


Officers often claimed they weren't trained on proper guidelines, or departments didn't have updated policies. The investigation highlighted the need for federal directives to establish consistent standards for use of force, as current guidelines from national policing organizations are not always followed or enforced at the local level.


The findings of the Associated Press investigation reveal a deeply troubling pattern of police misconduct and negligence. Officers violating safety guidelines during encounters, resulting in hundreds of preventable deaths, is unacceptable and highlights a systemic issue in law enforcement. This is not just a matter of poor training or outdated policies; it's a matter of life and death for vulnerable individuals. 


Link: AP News

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