Tag Archives: Cleveland

Viral Facebook Live Video Shows Ohio Man Being Beaten and Punched During Arrest

Euclid Ohio Police Brutality Arrest Beating

A viral Facebook Live video shows a man being violently arrested in Euclid, Ohio.

A live-streamed video that was making its way around Facebook on August 12th (2017) shows a man being violently arrested in Euclid, OH. (Note: many of the people sharing the video had for some reason misidentified the location as Edina, MN.) As of right now, there aren’t a lot of details outside of what can be seen on the video. (That video is embedded below.)

Later in the evening, the Euclid Police Department did release a statement in which they said that the cops pulled a man named Richard Hubbard III, who is from Cleveland, over for a traffic violation. They then decided to arrest him for some unspecified reason. Euclid is a suburb of Cleveland.

According to the EPD statement, Hubbard refused to turn around and face away from them when the police officers ordered him to. Initially, there are two cops involved in the beating. Eventually, at least three other cops arrive and begin helping handcuff Hubbard.

The cop, that can be seen hitting Hubbard numerous times, including in the back of his head, has not been identified yet. Currently, he is on paid vacation while his co-workers perform an “investigation.”

A woman who can be seen recording with her cell phone apparently was arrested also once the other cops arrived.

Below, is the statement from the Euclid police, via Fox8.com in Cleveland:

Euclid police released a statement about the incident, saying that just before 10:30 a.m., an officer pulled over Richard Hubbard, 25, of Cleveland, for a moving/traffic violation near 240 East 228th Street.

Hubbard was ordered out of the car told to face away from the police as he was taken into custody. Police say that Hubbard ignored that order and began to physically resist as the officer took him into custody.

The violent struggle, pictured below, lasted for over 3 minutes.

Update: Partial dash cam video (also embedded below) has been released, which is included as an update to the previously cited Fox8.com post. However, it’s still not very clear even on that video why the police saw Hubbard as a threat when they initially decided to arrest him.

According to the new statement from police, Hubbard was being arrested for not having a license. In addition, although it isn’t shown on either video, the statement says that Hubbard was tased. (The taser can be seen being thrown onto the street after it apparently wasn’t effective.)

They also state that they thought he was going to run, but he appears to be boxed in between the car, the open car door, and the officer who would later assault him. It doesn’t seem like he would have much of an opportunity to run, even if that was his intention.

Bystander Video

Local News Report With Dash Cam Video

False Imprisonment: Its Increasing Frequency and the Huge Cost It Imposes on Society

The following post was shared with the CopBlock Network anonymously by a reader, via the CopBlock.org Submissions Page.

If you have a video, personal story involving police misconduct and/or abuse, or commentary about a law enforcement related news story, we would be happy to have you submit it. You can find some advice on how to get your submission published on the CopBlock Network within this post.

Police Abuses on the Rise

It’s no secret that police brutality and misconduct has been on the rise recently with cases in the news like Eric Garner who was suffocated in a choke hold by police and killed for illegally selling cigarettes. Similarly, a 12-year-old boy Tamir Rice was shot and killed after playing with a toy gun in the park. The level of uneasiness between police officers and citizens has hit an all-time high and we see this unrest play out in society. Police brutality is not the only form of police misconduct- false arrest of citizens can be an excruciating experience that sends innocent people to prison for simply being in the wrong place at the wrong time.

For example, Chicago’s taxpayers have had to pay over $120 million for the racial torture committed by one police commander, Jon Burge. Part of the disconnect between officers and citizens is the unfairness in power and how that power is used. To add on to this, police are offered different treatment when it comes to false arrests or misconduct. Although Burge oversaw the torture of over 118 black men – which would typically lead to decades in prison – he was released in three-and-a-half years and sent to a halfway house. All the men he tortured remain behind bars.

Police officers were granted a Qualified Immunity Doctrine by the Supreme Court which essentially states that police officers are innocent of harm towards their suspects in most cases due to their risky and honorable line of work. The best intentions are seen to be associated with most police officers, but has that been the case recently?

Typically, false arrest from police officers falls into the police misconduct category, which can also encompass police brutality and wrongful death. According to the University of Michigan Law School’s National Registry of Exonerations report, 75% of homicide exonerations involved police misconduct. One widely publicized example of a wrongful arrest was James Bain, who was convicted of kidnapping and rape at the age of 18. He served 35 years for a vicious crime he did not commit. Although DNA evidence was tested and presented prior, he was refused further DNA testing from the courts until his fifth try in 2006. Although misidentification from eyewitnesses account for 75% of all convictions that are overturned by DNA evidence, Bain was wrongfully arrested and incarcerated by police.

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How Does False Imprisonment Affect the Public?

Some people may think that the police arrest people who they think are guilty of a crime, and if they are wrongfully arrested, they are quickly released and go about their happy lives. That is far from the truth in most cases where the arrest was outright wrong and unlawful. Many people who are falsely arrested fight back and sue the police officer who wronged them and because of this, the public is responsible for paying that fee.

Amount of Money City Taxpayers Have Paid for Police Misconduct:

  • Chicago: $521 million from 2004-2014
  • Cleveland: $8.2 million between 2004-2014
  • Denver: $12 million since 2011
  • Dallas: $6.6 million between 2011-2014
  • Los Angeles: $101 million between 2002-2011

For example, Robert Graham was arrested for disorderly conduct by a police officer who was stuck in traffic behind him. Due to the gridlock traffic in New York City, Graham was also stuck in traffic and unable to move. The police officers wrongfully arrested Graham due to the circumstances of the situation. Graham’s wrongfully arrested cases was one of the ones that contributed to New York taxpayers paying $18 million to pay back people who were wrongfully arrested by officers.

According to Jon Norinsberg, a false imprisonment attorney, New York city police may only legally arrest citizens if:

  1. The police have an arrest warrant.
  2. The police have probable cause that you committed a crime.
  3. You are interfering with a police investigation or arrest.
  4. The police believe you are a criminal attempting to flee a crime scene.

Why are Police Officers Getting Away with False Imprisonment?

The number of innocent people behind bars is the highest number it has ever been historically, so it is only natural to question the source – the police. Why has it become okay to so quickly convict people and rarely face punishment as a police officer for wrongfully arresting someone? The issue gets stickier when videos of police officers using excessive force and even killing citizens when they appeared to pose no threat. Are there consequences for that? Rarely.

Unfortunately, false arrests happen and can be scary to argue your case in front of a judge – especially because police are most often shielded by the Qualified Immunity Doctrine exercised by the Supreme Court. This is a protective order that is designed to protect police officers from facing punishments from their mistakes or unlawful actions. In theory, this Qualified Immunity Doctrine was originally designed to shield officers who are properly bringing justice to criminals and who handle situations appropriately – if someone is upset for getting arrested if they deserve it, well this doctrine will protect the police from this potential complaint or lawsuit. Since videos have been released of police officers using unnecessary excessive force on unarmed people, citizens are growing scared that officers are abusing this immunity from the Supreme Court to get away with their unjust behavior. This is where a disconnect lies between police officers and citizens.

Where is the Accountability From the Police?

Why is it that as a society we only started paying attention to police misconduct and false arrests when Netflix featured programs like Making a Murderer?

Police officers are designed to keep our communities safe. While most cops are heroes and upstanding citizens who work hard to protect our safety, those who entered the police force to unlawfully assert power over others and take advantage of their badge are getting more press in recent news. Although it’s an unfortunate circumstance, it is important to stay educated on what is happening in society to better educate yourself and to hopefully make a positive change.

Cleveland Cop Who Previously Shot Unarmed Man, Allowed To Attend Rehab Instead Of Jail After Drug Arrest

A member of the Cleveland Police Gang Unit, who was involved in a 2015 shooting of an unarmed man that the department initially lied about, was later himself busted for drugs. However, instead of going to jail, he’s been given a deal that will allow him to go to rehab instead of having his guilty plea count as a conviction.

In the shooting, for which a lawsuit is set to go to trial soon, Detective Jon Periandri claimed that the man he shot during a drug bust, Joevon Dawson, had gotten out of a car with a gun in his hand. The other five Good Cops at the scene backed up his story and one of them also moved a bullet casing to support the claim. Even Cleveland Police Chief Calvin Williams got in on the act, making a statement to the press at the scene that Dawson was armed when he was shot.

However, information later released as part of the lawsuit indicated that the only gun recovered at the scene had been stored within the center console area on the inside of the vehicle. Investigators from the Ohio Attorney General’s Office Bureau of Criminal Investigation concluded that the gun could not have been used by Dawson.

Meanwhile, even as he was in the process of arresting and shooting people for drug crimes he was simultaneously buying drugs by the handful. In fact, evidence showed that he literally ordered drugs while on duty as part of the narcotics squad. Incidentally, his taste for prescription pain killers and heroin were uncovered after a drug bust that included the Brooklyn, Ohio Law Director and the son of the mayor of Parma, Ohio.

Via Cleveland.com:

Periandri would soon face criminal investigation for another incident that happened in the weeks before and after the shooting.

In October 2015, as investigators continued probing the Dawson shooting, local and federal authorities raided the Seven Hills home of Alfonso Yunis, a suspected drug dealer.

Police found Yunis counting and crushing pills at his house along with then-Brooklyn law director Scott Clausen and attorney Brian Byrne, son of Parma Mayor Mike Byrne.

All three were arrested. A subsequent tip from a confidential police informant and a search of Yunis’ cellphone turned up hundreds of text messages with a number that was later traced to Periandri, according to court records.

The messages appeared to be “criminal in nature” and showed Periandri, a detective in charge of investigating and arresting drug dealers, repeatedly requesting to buy prescription painkillers and heroin off of Yunis, and even agreeing to act as a middleman for some drug deals, according to a search warrant affidavit obtained by cleveland.com in December 2015.

Dawson’s attorney entered the affidavit as evidence in the federal lawsuit on Thursday.

Messages seized from May 23, 2015 showed that Periandri ordered drugs while he working during protests in Cleveland that followed the acquittal of Cleveland police officer Michael Brelo on manslaughter charges in the 2012 killing of an unarmed couple. He also used a shorthand for what the affidavit describes as a racial slur to describe the protesters.

Cleveland police’s internal affairs unit launched an investigation and, that same month, obtained a warrant to collect a hair sample from Periandri and have it tested for drugs.

But before they could execute the warrant, Periandri took a medical leave of absence and checked himself into a drug rehabilitation center in California, internal investigators wrote in the affidavit.

The deal

A May 13, 2016 email between from Cleveland police commander Brian Heffernan to Williams, the head of internal affairs Lt. Monroe Goins and another Cleveland police officer indicated that Periandri was in talks with Assistant Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Jim Gutierrez.

The two agreed that Periandri would be charged by information and plead guilty to a felony drug possession charge at a June 7 court hearing. He would receive treatment in lieu of conviction, the email says.

Periandri would then serve a year’s probation, and the charge would be dropped from his record if he successfully completed treatment. In exchange, Periandri agreed to give up his certification to be a police officer.

But that court hearing never happened.

Prosecutors did not charge Periandri until Thursday, more than eight months after the original offer, according to court records. And the information was not delivered to the clerk’s office until about 1:30 p.m. Monday, after reporters began asking the prosecutor’s office about Periandri’s case.

The information, signed by Gutierrez, Periandri and Periandri’s attorney, Robert Dixon, is stamped Jan. 19. A note stuck on the outside of Periandri’s file says the information was “back-dated” to Jan. 19.

Kathleen Caffrey, a spokeswoman for the prosecutor’s office, said on Monday that Periandri had been charged by information and pleaded guilty in June.

After a reporter asked for a copy of the information and more information about the court hearing on Tuesday, she called to say that she had misinterpreted a conversation with Gutierrez and that no June agreement was reached.

Periandri was allowed to retire from the department for medical reasons on Aug. 9, 2016, Williams said.

Also, when reporters began asking about the drug “conviction” as a result of discovery information from the lawsuit, a spokesman for the prosecutor’s office explained that the records of it had never been entered into the Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Court’s public docket due to an “IT issue.” #SeemsLegit

Armed Cleveland Cop Bit Girlfriend; Caused Car Accident to Keep Her from Leaving – Won’t be Fired

In October of 2015, CopBlock Network Contributor  posted about a Cleveland policeman, whose (actual) name is Mister Jackson that was involved in a domestic violence incident. Officer Mister Jackson (I know, it’s awkward) was accused of assaulting a woman and then holding her against her will during the incident.

Since that initial report, more details have emerged. Apparently, this woman was one of two girlfriends that Jackson was involved with while “leading a double life.” Not too surprisingly, the genesis of this domestic dispute was the fact that the woman he assaulted had found out about his other, other half. She then confronted him at that other girlfriend’s home.

At some point, during the ensuing argument, Officer Mister Jackson bit the unnamed woman. And just for good measure he was also holding his gun, while in the process of biting her on the chest. Then, when she tried to flee the house and drive away, he attempted to block the driver side door and prevent her from getting in her car.

She managed to thwart that plan by instead entering from the passenger side. Officer Mister Jackson (it’s fun now) then took things up a notch by jumping in the car himself and pulling on the steering wheel as she was attempting to pull out of the driveway. The fairly predictable result was that the car ended up crashing into a house.

While Cleveland Police Patrolman’s Association President Steve Loomis was quick to assure everyone that the union wasn’t going to be “rushing to judgment about the incident,” one might think that this would be the last chapter in this guy’s police career and he would have to go back to being referred to as Mr. Mister Jackson again.

Of course, you’d have to be pretty naive and really just not paying much attention to actually think that, though. Earlier this week, Officer Mister Jackson pled guilty to a misdemeanor charge of attempted assault in a plea deal offered by the Cuyahoga County prosecutors. As part of the deal, his original charges of abduction, assault, aggravated menacing, and attempted felonious assault were all dropped.

The other part of the deal was that Officer Mister Jackson was not required to surrender his law enforcement certification or even to resign from the Cleveland Police Department. As has been evidenced here at the CopBlock Network over and over and over (etc.) again, it’s not at all unusual for cops to get off with a Policeman’s Discount on the rare occasions they are even charged.

No doubt, if he’s ever even so much as fired (which there is no guarantee of) by the Cleveland PD, once he completes the minor suspension, community service, and/or probation he eventually will receive for what anyone else would be a felon for, he’ll have had plenty of time to update his LinkedIn profile and resume in order to get hired with another department as soon as his wrist stops hurting. It’s pretty much guaranteed that no questions will be asked.

The Blue Mafia: New Book Explores Police Brutality and Consent Decrees in Ohio

The following post was shared with the CopBlock Network by Tim Tolka, via the CopBlock.org Submissions Page. Within the post, Tim discusses “Blue Mafia,” a book he wrote detailing police corruption and violence in Ohio, specifically concerning the police departments in Steubenville and Warren. Also included is a video preview of that book by Tim.

Tim also states:

The book is forthcoming and mentions all the officers involved by name with extensive documentation from the media, court documents, former and current officials and witnesses.

Blue Mafia: An Exploration of Consent Decrees in Ohio

A new book entitled “Blue Mafia” examines the nation’s second ever and fourth oldest Department of Justice (DOJ) investigations of patterns and practices of police misconduct in two small Ohio towns seated in Rustbelt Democratic counties. Ohio has hosted as many federal police misconduct investigations as New York state although it has only a fraction of its population. Only California has hosted more investigations than Ohio, although it has more than twice Ohio’s population. However, nowhere has the DOJ been resisted more fiercely than in Ohio.

In 1995, civil rights lawyer Richard Olivito began to feel hunted while litigating a civil rights case against the Steubenville police. He and his family received death threats. He and his wife survived two failed assassination attempts before placing a desperate call to the DOJ and driving to D.C. to meet with federal attorneys. The DOJ later sent two attorneys to investigate and requested a truckload of documents from the city of Steubenville. In 1997, the DOJ sued Steubenville for a pattern of civil rights violations and the city signed the second consent decree in U.S. history.

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The pattern of misconduct that caused Steubenville to become one of the less than 3% of municipalities saddled with a consent decree was essentially similar to that of the LAPD Rampart scandal. There were one or two allegations the DOJ was aware of against the police in Steubenville that not even the LAPD could touch. Steubenville has a history of corruption and organized crime which persists until the present day. The federal auditor for the consent decree eventually admitted that he couldn’t change the town’s culture or the choices of its powerful families.

Before the DOJ came to town, there were brutal and unaccountable police on the payroll of the mob in Steubenville. In 1986, the chief was accused of beating a white British woman who was with a black man in a Bob Evans, while yelling “niggerlover!” Once, an officer beat a woman with a chair inside the local courthouse, yet the chief famously refused to discipline his officers. Meanwhile, the county prosecutor was recruiting hitmen into an undercover narcotics task force and plotting to set people up, rob them and even murder them. Richard Olivito handled two criminal cases in which it was revealed in open court that an officer planted evidence and trafficked drugs. All these circumstances on top of forty-four court settlements in civil rights cases piqued the interest of the DOJ Civil Rights Division.

Six years after being involved in the DOJ investigation of Steubenville, Olivito again faced DOJ attorneys on the other side of a conference room in 2003. One of them asked, “Is it as bad as Steubenville?” Olivito replied,”I think it’s worse. It’s laced with racism.” Olivito visited the DOJ after he learned of strip searches, beatings and multiple alleged murders by the Warren police.

Warren was Ferguson ten years before the death of Michael Brown and had similar problems as recently reported by the DOJ in the Baltimore Police Department. In 2003, a video of three cops beating an African American was broadcast by national outlets. Strip searches were “routine” after traffic stops, if cops discovered the driver has a suspended license or acted in a way they didn’t like. A spree of volatile new lawsuits on top of more than fifty during the preceding decades as well as desperate calls from community leaders convinced the Bush DOJ to investigate in 2005, but the DOJ didn’t file a suit accusing Warren of a pattern and practice of civil rights violations until 2012.

Still today, no Warren officer has ever been fired for excessive force and no officer has ever been punished in a lethal force incident. The nine-year tenure of the department’s former chief, John Mandopoulos caused DOJ intervention after two years and a pattern of federal involvement which intensified after every presidential election. The WPD now hosts the fourth oldest DOJ investigation in the country, as they “strive everyday to reach compliance with the decree,” which must be maintained for two years in order for the consent decree to be lifted.

Blue Mafia portrays the challenge of civil rights on the frontline against police brutality in the courts and the streets of America. No other book examines the federal process of police reform in comparable depth, revealing the influence of local and national politics as well as insurers, law firms and police unions. Often, the DOJ is the last line of defense for small town residents, but it offers no remedy to those deprived and violated, only the promise of a less brutal future. For residents in Cleveland, Baltimore, Chicago and other cities with ongoing DOJ settlement agreements, there is much to learn from the experiences of Warren and Steubenville.

– Tim Tolka

Ohio Deputy Who Assaulted Handcuffed 17 Year Old in Court Fired; No Charges Filed

Deputy Dan Comerford, who was previously placed on paid administrative leave (AKA paid vacation) for assaulting a 17 year old in juvenile court back in April while the teen was handcuffed, has been fired by the Cuyohoga County Sheriff’s Department.

However, it was also announced that the Comerford would not be facing any charges for the attack on a defenseless 17 year old. The assault was reportedly caught on court surveillance cameras, but that video has not been released.

A previous report from Cleveland.com reporter Cory Schaffer details (somewhat) the incident:

The sheriff’s department placed Comerford, a 14-year veteran, on paid administrative leave the day of the April 5 incident, Cuyahoga County spokeswoman Mary Louise Madigan said.

Comerford was leading the handcuffed 17-year-old boy from a courtroom in the juvenile justice center back to a detention cell after a hearing when the incident occurred, Madigan said.

The incident was captured on surveillance cameras, but the county refused to release the video when asked in April, citing an exemption in Ohio public records law that covers “security infrastructure.”

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The internal investigation was conducted by the Ohio state Bureau of Criminal Investigation (BCI), who then forwarded the findings of that investigation to the county prosecutor’s office.

The Cuyahoga County Prosecutor’s Office subsequently (and not surprisingly) then concluded that there was not enough evidence to sustain criminal charges against Deputy Comerford. Because, apparently, a video of a cop hitting a teenager just isn’t enough evidence. Even when that teenager is handcuffed at the time.

I wonder why they don’t want to release that video…

Federal “Investigations” Only Enable Local Police Departments’ Abuses

The following post was originally posted at NationalInterest.org by  under the title “Washington Can’t Fix Broken Policing.” It addresses the idea that having a the Department of Justice (DoJ) or some other federal agency such as the FBI investigate abuses by local police or court official will lead to a fair or meaningful resolution.

Despite the prevalence of calls for the Federal Government to intervene in high profile cases, the truth is that what really happens when the Feds step in is it delays and distracts from the original issues and almost always leads to (intentionally) ineffective and superficial reform proposals, most of which are often not even adopted.

Many times after the “investigation” by federal officials has afforded time for tempers to cool and the spotlight has been removed from those on the local level, they end vindicating the abusers anyway or proposing a slew of hollow changes. When the “cavalry” arrives, they’re usually shooting blanks.

(Share relevant content or your own personal stories and/or videos  with the CopBlock Network, via the CopBlock.org Submissions Page.)

Washington Can’t Fix Broken Policing

Federal intervention allows local officials to evade responsibility.

It has been one year since Freddie Gray died while in the custody of the Baltimore Police Department. Gray’s death sparked peaceful protests and then calamitous riots that brought international attention and prompted the deployment of National Guard units. While local prosecutors indicted the officers involved in Gray’s arrest, the federal government promised to investigate the entire police department for a “pattern or practice” of constitutional violations. The impending outcome of that inquiry seems foreordained. The real question is whether federal monitoring can truly fix a broken police department. The conventional wisdom is that it can, but experience tells us that it can be counterproductive.

Since the Ferguson riot in 2014, police departments across the country have been under unprecedented scrutiny. When a pattern of wrongdoing or dysfunction is exposed, we hear a familiar refrain: this department is so bad that it is incapable of correcting itself, so federal intervention is necessary. After some initial resistance, the city of Ferguson has now agreed to a federal monitor. Last week, Newark also agreed to a federal monitor, to oversee its troubled police force. The Justice Department has also investigated and instituted reforms in many of the United States’ big-city police departments—Los Angeles, New Orleans, Detroit, Cleveland and Pittsburgh, to name a few.

Police StateClearly, police misconduct is more widespread than many want to admit. In Chicago, the shooting death of Laquan McDonald, caught on camera, has roiled minority neighborhoods because they see it as only the most recent episode of police wrongdoing there. It is safe to say that other cities may be one incident away from similar unrest.

Mayors and city councils don’t want police misconduct to occur, but in too many cities they let the problem fester. To the extent that they’re even paying attention, the typical political calculation seems to be this: it’s better to have the support of the police department and police union come election time, so don’t take steps that they will oppose.

There is, however, a cost to that political calculation: minority resentment toward city government—especially the police. After all, the victims of illegal detention, illegal searches and excessive force have friends, neighbors and relatives. And when bad cops are not dealt with, it is not unfair to conclude that the department itself is indifferent to injustice. This explains the rise of the Black Lives Matter movement.

When a shocking incident of police misconduct comes along, the fecklessness of local governance is exposed in the glare of the media spotlight. Suddenly, reporters are asking pointed questions. Exactly how many people have been shot by the police department? Why was video evidence withheld from the public? What accountability systems are in place to track and remove problem officers?

The optimal moment for police reform comes in the immediate aftermath of a police scandal. The public is aroused, and if the problems run deep into the department itself, voters want those problems corrected. Local politicians find themselves on the spot. They can’t afford to appear uninterested, but they’d rather not fight the police department either. Instead of rolling up their sleeves to make some politically difficult decisions, they posture as reformers by joining the chorus calling for a federal civil rights investigation.

When the feds do intervene, everyone seems to be pleased. The heat is off the local officials to address police misconduct. They say they’ll have to await the outcome of the federal investigation before taking any action. Federal officials are pleased because they are seen as the cavalry coming to the rescue. Civil rights activists are satisfied because they think a federal lawsuit will bring about needed reforms. The police department and police union benefit as well. The intense media scrutiny will now fade as the months roll past.

Unfortunately, federal intervention has a counterproductive “enabling” effect: it allows local officials to evade their responsibility to fix broken police organizations. When the local politicos make a plea for federal intervention, it deflects attention away from their oversight failure and actually squanders the prospect for sweeping changes at a pivotal moment.

There is a borderline reverence for federal intervention among academics and journalists, which has blinded them to political dynamics that should strike us as odd. On the surface, it appears as if the feds are imposing wide-ranging reforms on local officialdom. In truth, however, the local officials chose that outcome once the feds were invited in. Here’s the quandary: the local politicos had the capability to enact reforms all along, so why didn’t they embrace such measures to head off a federal lawsuit? Experience has shown, time and again, that local officials would rather cope with federal monitors than fight powerful police unions.

Federal monitors have not succeeded where local officials are intransigent about reform. Arizona’s Joe Arpaio, sheriff of Maricopa County, is an example. Arpaio may lose a case in court, but he remains defiant and wins reelection. There have been improvements in the cities with reform-minded mayors and police chiefs—but in those cases, federal monitors were never really necessary. The monitors merely provided the local officials with additional political leverage against the police lobby. Local political fights, however, should not be considered an appropriate basis for federal lawsuits and federal takeovers of local police operations.

Police misconduct is a serious problem. If the solution was simple, it would have already been adopted. The hard truth is that a good police department requires the sustained commitment of locally elected officials to that goal. If that commitment is absent, federal intervention will only obscure that reality, and make it more difficult for voters to hold the local politicos accountable for their neglect.

Breaking News: Judge Rules Man Who Made 911 Call That Led To John Crawford’s Murder Should Face Charges

Earlier this afternoon, Fairborn Municipal Court Judge Beth Root ruled on an affidavit submitted by nine citizens finding that there was probably cause to charge Ronald T. Ritchie with the first degree misdemeanor crime of “making false alarms.” Ritchie was the person that made the 911 call claiming that John Crawford was pointing a gun at people in a Beavercreek, OH Walmart.

The officers who responded to that call, which Ritchie has since characterized as a “prank,” subsequently shot and killed Crawford. In reality, Crawford was merely holding an unloaded BB gun that was for sale at that Walmart.

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Beavercreek police have been heavily criticized for being too quick to shoot Crawford without discerning if the gun was real or giving him an opportunity to surrender first. Even among those who believe the cops were justified in shooting Crawford, many believe that Ritchie was ultimately at fault for making the false claims that Crawford had threatened people with a gun.

It was also reported that several other charges were submitted within the affidavit that was accepted, but those additional charges were dismissed as not having sufficient probable cause to support those charges.

Via WDTN.com:

Nine citizens filled out affidavits — that were delivered to the court on March 25. Judge Root found in those affidavits that probable cause does exist to prosecute Ritchie for the accusation of making false alarms — a first-degree misdemeanor.

The names of the nine people who filed the affidavits are a matter of public record and can be accessed by the public at any time on the court’s website.

The nine are: Roy Qualls; Matthew Raska; Alice Diebel, Kevin Jackson, Lynn Buffington; Jessica Thomas; Mary Gentile; Enoch Fannin and Michael Casselli Jr. All but one of those who filed the affidavits live in Yellow Springs. The other lives in Fairborn.

The affidavits that were submitted questioned whether or not there was enough to prosecute him on charges related to inducing violence, inducing panic, involuntary manslaughter and reckless homicide — all of which were dismissed as not having enough probable cause.

Whether Ritchie will actually be charged with a crime is not certain at this point. A judge also ruled that there was probable cause to prosecute the police officers that murdered Tamir Rice. However, Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Timothy McGinty refused to file those charges and instead used a rigged grand jury presentation to clear Officer Timothy Loehmann and Frank Garmback.

Of course, Ritchie doesn’t have one of those magical uniforms that renders people impervious to criminal penalties beyond a theatrically delivered slap on the wrist. Ritchie also would make for a pretty good scapegoat to pin all of the blame on and deflect it from the cops that actually killed Crawford.

So he may actually be in for a much rougher ride than those Heroes that murdered a twelve year old in Cleveland.

Walmart Surveillance Video Of John Crawford Murder

Ronald T. Ritchie’s “Prank” 911 Call That Led to John Crawford Shooting

Ronald T. Ritchie’s Police Interview After John Crawford Shooting

Tamir Rice’s Mother Releases Statement on Non-Indictment; Appeals to Feds for Justice

As was already reported by CopBlock Network Contributor Dylan Donnelly, it was announced yesterday that a Cleveland grand jury had failed to indict Officer Timothy Loehman or Officer Frank Garmback for the murder of 12 year old Tamir Rice on November 22, 2014. Nothing about that should actually be surprising since the inherent bias of grand juries and the secrecy that is built into them, which obscures and facilitates that bias, are overwhelmingly used to ensure that police and other government officials are NOT indicted for their crimes. The true purpose is to protect, not prosecute those within that system.

Equally unsurprisingly, Tamir Rice’s mother was not happy or satisfied with the grand jury announcement. Later in the day, Samaria Rice released this statement addressing the non-indictment:

My family and I are in pain and devastated by the non-indictment of officers Timothy Loehmann and Frank Garmback for the murder of our beloved Tamir. After this investigation—which took over a year to unfold—and Prosecutor McGinty’s mishandling of this case, we no longer trust the local criminal-justice system, which we view as corrupt.

Prosecutor Thomas McGinty

Prosecutor Timothy McGinty

Prosecutor McGinty deliberately sabotaged the case, never advocating for my son, and acting instead like the police officers’ defense attorney. In a time in which a non-indictment for two police officers who have killed an unarmed black child is business as usual, we mourn for Tamir, and for all of the black people who have been killed by the police without justice. In our view, this process demonstrates that race is still an extremely troubling and serious problem in our country and the criminal-justice system.

I don’t want my child to have died for nothing and I refuse to let his legacy or his name be ignored. We will continue to fight for justice for him, and for all families who must live with the pain that we live with.

As the video shows, Officer Loehmann shot my son in less than a second. All I wanted was someone to be held accountable. But this entire process was a charade.

I pray and hope that the federal government will investigate this case.”

Samaria Rice is very much correct in her understanding of the corruption within the “justice” system itself. She also pretty accurately describes the aforementioned nature and flawed process of the grand jury. However and regrettably, she seemingly fails to realize that the Federal Government, if they even bother to investigate, will give her no less of a charade. While it’s understandable why she would hold out hope for a better result, the end will be both predictable and similar.

It’s not just the local system that has created the circumstances resulting in the extra judicial execution of her son, nor are the cover-ups that have enabled such crimes by police to continue and increase in frequency limited to Cleveland or the State of Ohio. Placing faith in another side of the same coin is a recipe for continued disappointment.

Video of Tamir Rice Shooting

Full Surveillance Video of Tamir Rice Shooting

Cleveland Police Department Submits To Slew Of Accountability Reforms

Cleveland Police Shoot BoyCleveland, Ohio – A slew of unprecedented regulations for police in Cleveland were just announced by United States Attorney Steven Dettelbach in hopes of curbing some of the escalating tensions between the people and the police in a time of escalating police brutality. This comes on the heels of the acquittal of Michael Brelo after he stood on the roof of a car and fired at least 15 shots through the windshield at two unarmed victims victims, the upcoming case for the police killing of 12 year old Tamir Rice mere seconds after they arrived on the scene, as well as a scathing report issued by the Department Of Justice following a 21 month long investigation into the Cleveland Police Department that found systemic corruption in the department including:

  • The unnecessary and excessive use of deadly force, including shootings and head strikes with impact weapons;
  • The unnecessary, excessive or retaliatory use of less lethal force including tasers, chemical spray and fists;
  • Excessive force against persons who are mentally ill or in crisis, including in cases where the officers were called exclusively for a welfare check; and
  • The employment of poor and dangerous tactics that place officers in situations where avoidable force becomes inevitable and places officers and civilians at unnecessary risk.

At one point, the report even shockingly stated:

“We found incidents of CDP officers firing their guns at people who do not pose an immediate threat of death or serious bodily injury to officers or others and using guns in a careless and dangerous manner, including hitting people on the head with their guns, in circumstances where deadly force is not justified. Officers also use less lethal force that is significantly out of proportion to the resistance encountered and officers too often escalate incidents with citizens instead of using effective and accepted tactics to de-escalate tension. ”

Many instances of these abuses went unreported, and without an investigation. How there hasn’t been a clean sweep of the entire department is anybody’s guess. But none the less, the sweeping reforms aim to restrain the ability of police to use force and to make accountable those that break these new standards.

Some of the changes detailed within the 105 page settlement include:

  • Pistol whipping is now prohibited (can you believe they needed a set of drastic reforms for this!?!?)
  • Using force against those who talk back to police is now prohibited, as well as using force as punishment for running away from the police.
  • An independent monitor will track the police’s progress with these reforms
  • If the city refuses the reforms, they can be forced to accept them by a federal judge
  • A civilian will now head up the internal affairs division and to appoint an inspector general to investigate police misconduct and analyze policies and trends.
  • If a gun is so much as un-holstered, it must be documented.
  • Both an internal as well as a civilian review panel will be constructed to look into use of force cases, and to review policies.
  • Periodic checks on stun guns to ensure that the digital record of discharge within the weapon matches on paper reporting.
  • A coordinator will be established to compile date on use of force cases, weapon usages, as well as search and seizure cases.

How much would you pay to live in a world where armed maniacs weren't hired to roam the streets? What if we told you that just $1 a month could help us fight to make that a reality? Sound like a bargain? Click above.Those less critical of the police, even in the face of such a damning report, feel that these measures will make the police overburdened with paper work, which they already feel is too demanding. Nevermind that the DOJ found that these cops were firing their weapons and never telling anybody about it. Others say that the micromanaging of the police, such as reporting on when a gun is taken out of the holster, will discourage police from grabbing their guns and put them more at risk of bodily injury. Considering that 2014 was one of the safest years on record to be a police officer, violent crime is plummeting, and that over 1000 people are killed by police each year, I’d say it’s long over due that police are discouraged from using their guns.