I-Team: CLE officer suspended for sleeping on duty at airport files discrimination complaint

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CLEVELAND - The Fox 8 I-Team has learned a Cleveland police officer, suspended after being found guilty of several administrative charges including sleeping while on duty, has filed an EEOC complaint.

Patrol Officer Christopher Harper was suspended for 30 days without pay in August. He was also reassigned and not allowed to return to work at Cleveland Hopkins International Airport.

Harper filed the EEOC complaint alleging that other officers had more severe infractions and were treated better. He stated that he believed he was discriminated against because he was African American.

Police Union President Steve Loomis, disagrees, and says city officials wanted to fire Harper.

“I really don’t believe there was any discrimination,” Loomis told the I-Team.

In October, the I-Team first reported that Harper was disciplined for violating several policies.

A 3-month internal investigation was done in the fall of 2013. The I-Team obtained the disciplinary file including surveillance video. The video shows Officer Harper spending several hours inside a room at the airport when he was to be patrolling. The disciplinary file also states a supervisor observed Harper sleeping while on duty.

The investigation wrapped up this past August.

We have not been able to reach Harper to discuss the issues.

City officials say they cannot comment on the case since the EEOC complaint is still pending.