Cleveland police respond to video of officers taking down basketball hoop: I-Team

CLEVELAND --  Cleveland police are responding to a report by the FOX 8 I-Team showing officers seizing a portable basketball hoop from the street in front of stunned children and a mother.

It happened recently off State Road, and it has sparked fierce debate about how the call was handled.

Police body camera video shows officers saying the decision to take the hoop was not theirs, and a sergeant says the order came directly from City Council President Kevin Kelley.

Now the Cleveland Police Second District commander says no one gave an order to seize the hoop. Commander Thomas Stacho says he never demanded it, and neither did the council president.

Stacho says he’s investigating what led his officers to think there were orders from above to take the hoop.

Earlier, Council President Kelley told the I-Team he had no power to order police to do anything, and he didn’t get involved in any way in this case. Kelley said his office had taken two complaints about kids in the street there, and an assistant forwarded one email to police.

The portable hoops are not allowed on Cleveland streets by ordinance out of concern for kids blocking traffic and getting hit by cars.

Still, what happened in this case outraged even some officers, and they pitched in to buy the family a new hoop. It now sits in the driveway.

Meantime, the mother at the home also got hit with a ticket for the hoop that was taken away. And she didn’t show up in court for a hearing on it. Christina Dennis told us she didn’t think she had to go since officers brought her a new hoop. She thought they had taken care of the ticket. She promised us this week she would go to court to deal with it. As of late Thursday, records show that hadn’t happened yet.