CLEVELAND - The FOX 8 I TEAM has obtained police video showing a complete lack of regard for police when hundreds of people started fighting, running, and destroying things at the I-X Indoor Amusement Park.
And now the Cleveland Police Union President is making a startling claim. Steve Loomis said, "Absolutely could've been prevented. It absolutely could've been prevented."
The I TEAM reviewed patrol car video from Parma Heights Police. One clip shows people running with several others beating and stomping a man right in front of a sheriff’s van and 3 police cars. Another clip shows a family trying to scramble to safety as children hold hands.
Steve Loomis says some officers had heard rumblings from multiple sources before the incident warning there could be trouble. However, Loomis said there was no follow-up because no overtime was allowed. He said, “They asked for the overtime to follow up on it and were told no. It's a price tag."
We went to the head of the Cleveland Police Gang Impact Unit. Commander Gary Gingell said he does not believe gangs were to blame for what happened. And, he hadn’t heard about any prior intelligence. Gingell said, "As far as anything else about intelligence or anything, I know my sergeant didn't know anything. I don't know what to tell you."
Cleveland Police say they had gang detectives working Saturday night. But they were on the east side, not the I-X center. Although they went there once the trouble started. And police say those gang detectives arrested three people in the I-X Center crowd getting guns out of a vehicle.
Loomis said, "They're throwing chairs at each other." He is calling on the I-X Center to hire more off-duty officers on a regular basis. Late Monday, the I-X Center announced it would, in fact, start having more officers, guards, and even gang investigators on hand.
That police video shows officers responded with batons and even riot sticks in their hands as they rolled up to a chaotic scene unsure of what they’d be facing.
And again, some in the crowd went wild even with police lights flashing and a police camera recording them from just feet away.