A grand jury has indicted eleven current and former East Cleveland police officers on charges including assault, dereliction of duty, civil rights violations, tampering with evidence, obstruction of justice and theft in office, Cuyahoga County District Attorney Michael O’Malley announced Wednesday.
The incidents involve 11 victims and occurred between February 2020 and July 2022.
In the past seven months, including the officers named in this week’s indictments, 16 current or former East Cleveland police officers have been charged.
“All of these officers took an oath to serve and protect the community when appointed to their positions. These actions [shown in video shared by the prosecutor’s office] are a complete violation of their oath of office,” O’Malley said at a news conference Wednesday. “These officers of the East Cleveland Police Department have committed a criminal act or a series of criminal acts. The citizens of East Cleveland deserve better, the public deserves better.”
“Make no mistake, the East Cleveland Police Department is a growing cancer,” O’Malley added. “We are doing everything we can to remove all the tentacles of this cancer so that this department can recover.”
The first of the new indictments names Detective Ian McInnes, Sergeant John Hartman and Patrol Officers Tristan Homan, Loris Mans and Tre Dehart Robinson. He also re-indicted Investigator Kyle Wood and Patrol Officers Tyler Munson, Brian Stoll and Daniel Toomer.
The various charges included assault, attempted assault, assault, interference with civil rights, dereliction of duty, falsifying records and wire fraud.
The second incident charged Patrol Officer Nicholas Foti with assault, attempted assault, assault, interference with civil rights and dereliction of duty.
And a third indictment charged Patrol Officer Brian Parks with assault, attempted assault, assault, interference with civil rights, dereliction of duty and falsifying court records.
Of the seven newly charged officers, Foti resigned, Mance was fired and Tristan Homan, most recently with the Elyria Police Department, was fired. McInnes, Parks, Robinson and Hartman are still with ECPD.
The re-charged officers remain with ECPD but are on leave due to the previous charges.
The video from the prosecutor’s press conference, which can be seen below, includes fragments of the attacks starting at the 12:32 minute mark.
It is important to note that the video is not a complete record of these incidents.
“The actions that we witnessed here today are not all incidents, but they are illustrative of the task that has been set before us,” O’Malley said.
Disturbing video shows officers physically assaulting victims and attempting to destroy evidence.
Patrol Officer Nicholas Foti stomps on the head of the handcuffed victim on the ground.
In one clip, Detective Ian McInnes kicks a victim who is kneeling with his hands behind his back, in another he kicks a victim with his hands raised in his groin, and in a third he kicks a victim lying on the ground in the ribs.
In the clip, featuring Detective Kyle Wood, Patrol Officer Tristan Homan and Sergeant John Hartman, the officer can be heard saying “get that bitch” and “get his ass, get his ass.” The victim, who is on the ground with his hands behind his head before Homan reaches them, is then punched several times by Homan and Hartman.
An officer can be heard yelling “stop resisting, f—ing.” Homan can later be heard saying, “sweet little ass growling,” to which Wood replies “shouldn’t have resisted” regarding the victim, who was back on the ground with his hands behind his head.
Hartman is also seen repeatedly hitting the victim in the head in a separate incident.
In an incident involving Wood, Patrol Officer Brian Stoll, and Patrol Officer Tyler Mundson, Stoll repeatedly smashes the victim’s phone while in custody, marking “nothing,” likely referring to the evidence he is destroying, to which Mundson replies, “I didn’t either I see.”
Stoll and Mundson then marvel at the phone’s apparent functionality and compare the blows they “inflicted” on the victim.
In the clip, which features a police car, McInnes appears to run over a pedestrian, saying “he just hit my car.” Patrol Officer Loris Mance and Homan handcuff and beat the victim, who is on the ground with a broken pelvis.
McInnes can be heard saying, “I’ve got a smashed windscreen now” and notices the victim is bleeding from the head, before repeatedly stabbing the victim as she moans.
O’Malley emphasized that “we thought a police car had driven in [the victim].”
In the final clip, Patrol Officer Brian Parks repeatedly touches the victim as the victim screams, “I’m sorry, I’m sorry, you don’t have to touch me anymore… why did you guys touch me so much once… I gave you my hands.”
“The people in these videos were surrendering, they were showing their hands. These were not threats,” O’Malley said of the footage of the attacks. “They quietly submitted to the authority of law enforcement and raised their hands in all of these cases, and it wasn’t enough.”
ECPD is currently understaffed. O’Malley says he has reached out to the sheriff’s office and highway patrol for help patrolling East Cleveland in light of this week’s indictments.
But in the long term, he recognizes the need for a paradigm shift within the ECPD.
“Obviously, based on the sheer numbers, you’ve probably seen people who have been hired, who have been taught by people who shouldn’t be teaching, and so I hope that if we remove the bad actors, if [ECPD] hire new officers, they can be trained in professional law enforcement techniques and respect due process under the law,” O’Malley said when asked about ECPD’s culture.
As the investigation is still ongoing, the FBI has set up a hotline for information about civil rights violations by East Cleveland police officers. They are asking anyone with information to call 216-583-5343.
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