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11 Ohio Cops Indicted After Videos Show Them Stomping, Tasing, Beating Suspects With Hands Up

East Cleveland, OH – A Cuyahoga County grand jury handed down three indictments charging 11 current and former members of the East Cleveland police force with a bevy of crimes, the evidence for most of which was captured on video (video below).

The Cuyahoga County Prosecutor’s Office and the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s (FBI) Cleveland Division held a joint press conference on March 8 to announce public corruption and civil rights violations charges against the 11 active-duty and retired law enforcement officers, Cleveland.com reported.

Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Michael C. O’Malley, Assistant Prosecuting Attorney Gregory Mussman, and FBI Special Agent in Charge Gregory Nelson were on hand to release a 14-minute video that showed East Cleveland police officers hitting, kicking, stomping, and Tasing suspects who had their hands up or were not otherwise resisting arrest, WEWS reported.

“The real victim here was the entire city, all the citizens of East Cleveland, who had to live in a city with fear,” O’Malley said. “To do everyday chores, to get simply pulled over and the fear of what may happen when they were simply pulled over or perhaps confronted while walking the streets. And it’s hard for me to imagine what they’ve had to endure.”

The first video showed East Cleveland Police Officer Nicholas Foti repeatedly stomping on a person in police custody who was on the ground, WEWS reported.

The second video showed East Cleveland Police Officer Ian McInnes telling a suspect who is on his knees, facing away from him, to lie on his stomach.

When the suspect didn’t move fast enough for Officer McInnes, the video showed he kicked the man in the back and knocked him to the floor.

The third video showed East Cleveland Police Sergeant John Hartman and East Cleveland Police Officer Tristan Homan chasing a suspect, who was on foot, in their police car.

By the time the officers had jumped out of their patrol vehicle to apprehend the suspect, the video showed the man was already on the ground facedown, waiting for them.

Sgt. Hartman and Officer Homan were joined by East Cleveland Police Officer Kyle Wood at that point, and the video showed the three officers beat the already-prone suspect, WEWS reported.

Then they tossed him in the back of a police car.

“Nice little ass whooping,” Sgt. Hartman said in the video.

“Shouldn’t have resisted,” Officer Wood added.

The fourth video showed Officer McInnes running up to a suspect who is sitting on the ground against a wall with his hands up and the officer shoving the person to the ground and kicking them in the groin, WEWS reported.

The fifth video also involved Officer McInnes and showed him running up to an unarmed suspect who was being held at Taser-point by another officer and kicking him in the ribs.

The sixth video released by prosecutors showed Sgt. Hartman repeatedly punching a suspect in the head, WEWS reported.

The seventh video showed East Cleveland Police Officers Tyler Mundson and Brian Stoll finding a suspect’s phone in the back seat of a police car after they had made a transport.

Officer Stoll used two hands to bend and break the iPhone and then joked about it with Officer Mundson.

Inside the police station, the video showed the officers joked with Officer Wood about the phone and the arrest they had just made.

“I threw the meanest f-king hook.” Officer Stoll bragged in the video.

“I didn’t get a single lick in,” Officer Mundson complained.

The eighth video appeared to show Officer McInnes intentionally struck a fleeing suspect with his patrol vehicle, WEWS reported.

The video showed three officers jumped on the injured man, who didn’t get up after he was hit, to put him in handcuffs.

The officers punched the suspect and deployed their Tasers multiple times, WEWS reported.

The suspect sustained a broken pelvis as a result of the incident.

“Regretfully, what you didn’t see, was the car— the officer taking a left turn and didn’t appear to slow down or didn’t appear to avoid the accident, as opposed to driving straight into the guy,” O’Malley said.

The ninth video showed East Cleveland Police Officer Brian Parks Tasing a man multiple times, WEWS reported.

“I think to any casual observer, those videos are appalling and a poor reflection of policing within our community and obviously criminal conduct,” the prosecutor told reporters.

The three indictments consisted of multiple charges against 11 current and former East Cleveland police officers.

“I was appalled that we could be witnessing — witnessing a guy handcuffed and his head stomped, or witnessing a guy handcuffed and being tased while handcuffed repeatedly, which to me is a form of torture,” O’Malley said. “And so certainly I was shaken. My next thoughts went to the victims of these incidents and how they’re doing.”

“But what we saw, again, were people who had surrendered and were being brutalized. And it upset me,” the prosecutor told reporters. “But it also lit a fire in me that these things had to be fixed. And so, fix them we will.”

Four of the 11 officers had been previously indicted on other charges, and seven were newly indicted, WEWS reported.

Sixteen current and former East Cleveland police officers have been indicted in the last six-and-a-half months.

“Make no mistake, there has been a cancer growing in the East Cleveland Police Department,” O’Malley said. “We are doing our best to remove every tentacle of that cancer so that this department can rebuild and grow, to put itself in a position to hire officers who enforce the law as well as follow the law. I want to say this is a sad day for all of law enforcement.”

Community members have expressed concern about public safety as so many officers have quickly been sidelined.

“The recent indictments of the additional four officers will not prevent my agency from functioning or adequately protecting the citizens, the indictments were expected as this has been an on-going investigation,” East Cleveland Police Chief Brian Gerhard wrote in a statement to WEWS.

“I have cooperated fully with the county prosecutor’s office and will continue to do so, the county investigator and his colleague from the FBI have the ability to logon the agency bodycam system and have been provided all records they have requested from me to assist in their investigation into corrupt activity within the department,” Chief Gerhard continued.

“As I stated when appointed chief last October, I will move the department in a positive direction, I have very good personnel on my staff that will assist me rebuilding the agency,” the police chief added.

Watch the incidents unfold in the video below. WARNING – Graphic Content and Obscene Language:

Written by
Sandy Malone

Managing Editor - Twitter/@SandyMalone_ - Prior to joining The Police Tribune, Sandy wrote the Politics.Net column for the Wall Street Journal and was managing editor of Campaigns & Elections magazine. More recently, she was an internationally-syndicated columnist for Conde Nast (BRIDES), The Huffington Post, and Monsters and Critics. Sandy is married to a retired police captain and former SWAT commander.

View all articles
Written by Sandy Malone


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