I-Team finds surprising punishment for officer who posted videos in uniform

EAST CLEVELAND, Ohio -- The FOX 8 I TEAM has found a local police officer has been punished for recording videos of himself in uniform and posting them online. But his punishment includes producing videos for his police department.

Deondre Westfield works as a patrolman for the East Cleveland Police Department. The chief says Westfield received a letter of reprimand for posting his videos on Instagram.

The videos include skits, Westfield making wisecracks about drivers he just ticketed, and more. They were shot as Westfield wore his police uniform; they often involved other officers in uniform, and they were often shot in patrol cars.

Now Chief Michael Cardilli says Westfield has been reprimanded for violating policy. But the chief now plans to have Westfield produce videos for the department's Facebook page.

Cardilli said, "I decided it would be better to use him for the good." The videos for the Department will be aimed at crime prevention and community awareness.

Cardilli said, "Whether it be why police officers pull you over for tinted windows. (Or) Why it's important to have a front and rear license plate on your vehicle."

Birlus Wordlaw, 84, doesn't like any officers producing any kind of videos in East Cleveland. He just wants more patrols. The city is so poor, it struggles to provide city services. Wordlaw said, "I'm gonna tell you something, East Cleveland Police don't come when you call for nothing. They don't come at all."

Last month, the I TEAM first reported on the officer's on-line videos, and he refused to talk to us. Now, for this story, the chief said Westfield was not permitted to talk with us.

Meantime, we asked the chief if he felt some folks might see this new order for new videos as somewhat of a reward for the officer. The chief responded, "I think that that would take a small-minded person to think that way."

The chief says he came up with this idea after seeing local judges come up with creative sentences after crimes.

Westfield will still patrol, and we're told, he'll do most of the production on the department videos on his own time.

Read more, here.