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Justice Department finds Albuquerque police often used 'excessive force'

The Justice Department concluded after an investigation into the Albuquerque, N.M. police force, that they often use "excessive force."

After a more than year-long investigation that looked into hundreds of cases the police department in Albuquerque handled, the federal agency notes they found "patterns of excessive force" and an increase in training and tools for the police force is needed, reports The Associated Press.

The investigation found that in too many cases the Police Department employed more force that was needed on people who clearly "posed a minimal threat" or suffered from mental illness.

Assistant Attorney General of DOJ Civil Rights Division Jocelyn Samuels noted that it was clear the Police Department needed fixes. "The reforms we are proposing ... are going to result in the kinds of structures that will over time create a change in the culture."

Samuels noted that the changes will have to start at the top due to "inadequate oversight, inadequate investigation of incidents of force" and "inadequate training," notes The New York Times.

Since January 2010, the Police Department shot 37 people, with 23 dying as a result of the shooting.

Albuquerque officials have already begun introducing reform themselves, ahead of the Justice Department. One such change already in effect is that video cameras are now part of an officer's uniform.

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