I-Team: Hidden Camera Investigation
CLEVELAND — To serve, protect and relax. That appears to be the motto of these third district police officers we found sitting for hours in a parking lot off of East 38th and Superior.
But their duty reports submitted to the department tell another story.
The I-Team requested and received copies of the duty reports for patrol car 341 for three nights, October 31, November 1 and November 8, which are the same nights our I-Team cameras found them parked in this dark lot for an extended amount of time. The city reports submitted by these two veteran police officers shows them working steady through the midnight shift, giving special attention to several areas such as East 49th and Hamilton.
The duty record for November 8 states the officers were here at this East 49th location from 1:45 to 2:10 a.m., but our camera shows on that date and time they were actually in the parking lot off of East 38th. And instead of walking the pavement, the one officer had his feet out the window.
“Unacceptable behavior on behalf of the Cleveland Police Department and those two officers,” said Councilman Michael Polensek. “I am confident that the safety director and chief will look at those duty rosters, the time sheets, and take the appropriate action, and as I look at it, at least they kept their shoes on.”
The duty report also shows that between 2:20 and 2:45 a.m. on November 8 they were giving special attention to this building on East 55th. But once again our camera shows at that exact time they were still parked in this lot and the one officer got out to stretch and then appeared to urinate in the lot.
“I expect that officers who are paid to protect my citizens, our citizens, that they do their jobs,” said Councilman Jeff Johnson. “I know this is a minority of cases but this is unacceptable and upsets me.”
Cleveland Police Department officials have declined to discuss the situation, saying our I-Team report has sparked an internal investigation.
“As the vice chairman of the public safety committee, I will say again this is unacceptable behavior on behalf of the Cleveland Police Department.”
An email sent from a police official to city council members says our I-Team report revealed the two officers may have been in violation of the manual of rules and regulations of the division of police.
An official with the police union says they are also looking into the matter.
Council members say they hope the investigation is handled quickly. Johnson says he will also ask that the issue be discussed during the next safety committee meeting later this month.