I-Team: New developments in Cleveland police recruit scandal
CLEVELAND — The FOX 8 I-Team has learned of new efforts to save the jobs of 15 Cleveland police recruits suspected of cheating by plagiarizing sections of notebooks required of each recruit.
This weekend, the Black Shield Police Association, the NAACP, and retired officers met with some of the recruits and lawyers.
Lawyers are expected to file papers in court Monday to force the city to allow the recruits to take their final tests.
Several days ago, the I-Team revealed a Cleveland police internal investigation into suspected cheating. The chief’s office said instructors were reviewing required notebooks when “irregularities were observed.” The chief’s office also said the investigation would go up the chain of command to the safety director.
Those working to help the recruits contend that this is largely a misunderstanding. They say some recruits didn’t know their notes had been taken and copied, and others had simply given up their notes because they had been instructed to help others who’d fallen behind.
The Black Shield Police Association and others have taken a special interest in this since they say most of the recruits caught up in the investigation are minorities. And, if they are not allowed to graduate with this police rookie class, the class will end up with only a handful of new African American officers.
A picture from inside police headquarters shows the recruits under investigation directed to a computer lab instead of the rest of the class.
The I-Team has also obtained a video clip that those supporting the recruits say shows the recruits assigned to sit on the floor in a gym. The groups backing those recruits consider being assigned to sit on the gym floor a form of “hazing.”