Anaheim Police Department Among Nation's Deadliest: ACLU Report Says

The ACLU is blasting the Anaheim Police Department in a new report, calling it one of the deadliest police forces among the nation's largest cities.

According to the report, the Anaheim Police Department number of officer involved deaths during arrests was more than the NYPD and the LAPD over the past three years.

The report is based on police reports, news articles, coroner's reports and data collected from the state Attorney General and the U.S. Department of Justice. The city is disputing these findings.

It all comes down to the what's next for a board that reviews the police department.

It began in 2012 with days of protests in the city following the deaths of two men — killed just one day apart — by officers from the city's police department.

The ACLU calls this the "pattern and practice" of Anaheim police, documenting the number of officer-involved deaths during arrests.

Thirty three people died in use-of-force incidents by on-duty Anaheim officers from 2003 to 2016, according to the report; 29 in officer shootings. Some 40 percent of those killed were unarmed, the report said.

"We are not the department this report unfortunately portrays," said Julian Harvey, acting Anaheim police chief.

Harvey says the ACLU got some things wrong, including an incident from 2015 which noted an officer-involved shooting but his death was determined to have been with his own weapon.

"If it was corrected, it would drop us from ninth deadliest city as the report indicates to the 28th," Harvey said.

One of the authors of the report said the person in that case was shot by officers seven times and the case was reported to the attorney general as a justified homicide not a suicide.

They say while some reforms in the department have occurred, including the creation of the public safety board following the 2012 incidents, the finding show more needs to be done.

In December, the City Council will have a hearing about the next step which is to build a police review board that could look into cases.

This would also be a group of community members. The ACLU also said in the report that 58 percent of Anaheim police arrest related deaths involved repeat offenders so officers involved in more than one death.

Police say after any major incident they review and even discipline officers but did not give specifics.

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