EAST CLEVELAND, Ohio (WJW) – An East Cleveland officer has been placed on administrative leave after video surfaced on social media showing the patrolman kicking a suspect who was kneeling on the ground putting his arms behind his back.
Police Chief Scott Gardner tells the I-Team the incident happened early Monday morning, shortly after police were called to a restaurant for a man who was “behaving aggressively towards customers.”
“The man was allegedly throwing stuff at customers,” the chief said.
East Cleveland police body camera video shows the officer arriving at the restaurant and ordering the man to get on the ground several times.
In the video, the man utters some words and appears confused.
Once the man is handcuffed, the officer can be heard asking for a squad to transfer the suspect for a mental evaluation. He also told dispatchers to let the hospital know the man is being aggressive.
The man is seen walking into the hospital, handcuffed and escorted by officers.
The chief said the man is not facing a criminal charge at this time and they do not have his name.
Gardner said he was sent the video Monday from someone who saw it on a social media site.
“As soon as I saw it, I called and asked for an internal review,” the chief said. “Obviously looking at it from the onset it doesn’t look good, it looks pretty bad.”
The officer involved has been with the department for about five years and has had no prior disciplinary issues.
He added the officer will be asked to provide a statement.
“Striking someone in the back in that manner generally is a higher level use of force , so yes it was concerning enough we opened up an internal investigation at this point,” the chief said. Posted by JR