I-Team: Local officer punished for sleeping on-duty

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CLEVELAND (WJW) -- The FOX 8 I-Team has found a Cleveland police officer punished for sleeping on duty after a citizen snapped a photo of him after he had dozed off in uniform, armed and in public.

Records show officer Gary Chatmon was suspended six days without pay. The incident happened in March. The internal discipline has now been released to the I-Team.

An internal investigation began after a social media post with two photos of the officer and a comment that included, “Bro I should have been a Cleveland cop…they got it like that?” And, “..decided to catch…flies with his snoring.”

The photo was captured at a local car dealer service garage. Police found officer Chatmon fell asleep waiting for a patrol car to get fixed.

When a citizen snapped that picture, the officer was not answering your 911 calls. The chief’s office said his job was getting patrol cars taken into the service garage for maintenance. Still, for nodding off while on-duty in full uniform, the chief’s office outlined a series of violations of police rules for conduct.

We went inside 5th District headquarters hoping to see officer Chatmon. We were told he wasn’t working at that time. We left a message, and we did not hear back.

A supervisor wrote, Chatmon “admitted” falling asleep in uniform and he gave “no excuse.”

Taxpayers we met don’t want any excuses either, especially with city streets so violent these days.

One man we met said, “Shoulda been fired altogether.” And a woman said, “If he got caught sleeping then, how many other times has he done it?”

Last year, we revealed a Cleveland police dispatcher sleeping on the job. She got suspended after getting caught twice in two days.

When Cleveland police released the photo of officer Chatmon which started the internal investigation involving him, police blurred out his face. The department generally blurs the faces of all officers in any pictures or videos released by city hall.

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