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I-Team: Why no charges after protester caught on video spitting in Cleveland officer’s face

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CLEVELAND, Ohio -- The FOX 8 I-Team is investigating why two protesters arrested in downtown Cleveland last week were released from jail with no charges even after one was caught on camera apparently spitting on an officer.

The arrests were made Friday as a group was marching and protesting against President Trump. A scuffle broke out in front of an I-Team camera between protesters and an officer on bike patrol. That led to the arrest of a man and a woman.

The woman was taken in under investigation for disorderly conduct and resisting arrest. But she was released Saturday.

The man was locked up while being investigated for felony assault on an officer for the spitting. He was released Sunday after his case was reviewed by a Cleveland City prosecutor.

The I-Team wanted someone from the prosecutor’s office to explain why there were no charges especially after what was caught on camera. But no one at the prosecutor’s office will speak to a reporter without permission from City Hall. And there, no one is stepping up to explain it on camera either. Instead the mayor's office only issued a statement.

City Spokesman Dan Williams said, the prosecutor is still “reviewing the evidence.” A decision will be made “once all evidence is obtained and reviewed.” Williams said the city has two years to bring charges, and “being right is better than being fast.”

But Police Union President Steve Loomis said, "Somebody better do something about this because this is something we're not gonna be prepared to let go. I was in DC this weekend and saw your video and was appalled by it."

Loomis said criminals get hit with charges every day after getting busted with much less evidence. He added, "For the city prosecutor to decline to charge that person with assault on a police officer is absolutely a dereliction of her duty."

We went looking for those protesters who’d been arrested then released. No luck finding them. And we did not hear back after leaving a phone number for one.

The I-Team will continue to monitor this for any final decisions on charges.

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