CLEVELAND -- The FOX 8 I TEAM is investigating the arrest of a member of the Cleveland Police Commission. The bust comes even as that group is helping to oversee reform of the police department.
Police video shows Euclid officers arrested Anthony Body on new charges and an outstanding warrant. The arrest happened after a traffic stop. And a report shows Body told officers he’s part of a group “fixing the police”.
Body sits on the Cleveland Police Commission, a citizens group created to make recommendations for reforms in the Cleveland Police Department. The group was formed as part of an agreement between Cleveland City Hall and the U.S. Department of Justice.
Meantime, Body is also a candidate for Cleveland City Council.
In the Euclid case, Body ended up charged with driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, not using a turn signal, and not having a light over his rear license plate. Officers say Body also had a warrant for a probation violation.
As he sat in the back of a patrol car, Body told Euclid officers, “Do you have a body camera on? One thing I will say, I’m on a police commission by the Department of Justice. I also understand I may have had a warrant. But I also understand that you pulled me over for no particular reason. And you followed me for two exits.”
Police charged Body with driving under the influence even though a breath test showed a reading far below the legal limit for driving drunk. Booking room video shows Body also took other sobriety tests. Euclid officers wrote in their report, they determined Body showed other signs of impairment. They also noted “a strong odor of an alcoholic beverage” and “bloodshot, glassy” eyes. Additionally, police planned more testing to find out if Body had any drugs in his system.
Body told the I TEAM, “It really was a racial issue.” He added, “Driving while black in Euclid.” Body also said, "I'm not saying the police commission gives me any authority or power but I know my rights.”
Body is fighting the charges in this case, pleading not guilty. Records show the warrant was for not completing community service in a traffic case from 2016. Body also said,
"A lot of African American males have run ins with the police but some plead guilty just to get out the judicial system. But I'm gonna contest anything that's not right."
The I TEAM earlier revealed Body was appointed to the Cleveland Police Commission in 2015.
His driving record shows dozens of tickets including one just months ago for driving with no license. The I TEAM also found as Body got appointed to the police commission, he had hundreds of dollars in unpaid fines at court. And many years ago, he had cases for a concealed weapon and theft.
What does this mean for Body’s seat on the Police Commission? The Commission issued a statement that didn’t say much:
“The Commission does not have direct knowledge related to the incident and has not spoken with Mr. Body regarding the facts of the event. At this time, we have chosen to refrain from commenting further and respect that this is a private matter for Mr. Body. We hope that the investigation yields a just outcome.”