RTA officials address officer pepper-spray incident

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CLEVELAND- There is new information being released after an RTA officer was recorded using pepper spray on a crowd in downtown Cleveland.

Officials said they reviewed videos from the bus, dash cam and street surveillance from the scene.

On Sunday, RTA police removed a drunk 14-year-old from a bus and were about to take him to the police station, the police report said. Video shows the teen and the officer walking off the bus to the bus stop near East 24th Street and Euclid Avenue.

"While waiting to hear if (the teen) was clear of any wants or warrants, a crowd began to gather outside of the shelter asking why we had him in handcuffs," the police report said.

Many protestors were from a "Black Lives Matter" event.

The police report said "the rioters then began swarming unit #966 beating on the windows, grabbing the push bar, and jouncing the car up and down, and hindering it from moving."

Sgt. Robert Schwab asked the crowd to get back and they did not comply, according to the police report. That's when he started using the pepper spray.

"Was the use of pepper spray consistent with our policy and procedures, are our policy procedures proper, is training appropriate, and is discipline or retraining appropriate in Sgt. Schwab's case or any other officer's at the scene? So those are the questions we'll be asking," said RTA Chief Executive Office Joseph Calabrese.

The investigation is in its early stages, but Schwab has been place on administrative duty.

The teen was released to his mother.

Continuing coverage on the story here

Google Map for coordinates 41.502054 by -81.672294.

East 24th Street and Euclid Avenue

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