CLEVELAND (WJW) – Defense attorneys for several East Cleveland police officers have filed a motion asking a judge to prohibit officials with the Cuyahoga County prosecutor’s office from talking about the case.
Atty. Kim Corral, who represents Officer Kyle Wood, says she and other attorneys representing some of the indicted East Cleveland officers filed a motion Tuesday asking for a gag order against the prosecutor’s office.
“He issued a press conference where he made wildly inappropriate comments and called the East Cleveland Police Department a cancer,” Corral told the I-Team. “East Cleveland is one of the most dangerous and difficult communities to police in the nation. We believe our clients are entitled to have their cases tried in court not in the court of public opinion.”
The motion accuse the prosecutor of engaging in a media campaign designed to present a one-sided picture of the alleged conduct.
We reached out to the prosecutor’s office to discuss the matter and received the following statement from Lexi Bauer, communications manager for the prosecutor’s office.
“Prosecutor O’Malley takes public corruption and excessive use of force by police officers seriously. Indicting 11 East Cleveland police officers in one day required a public explanation and they received it. The suggestion that this indictment is politically motivated ignores the gut-wrenching video we all observed. The investigation continues.”
Atty. Gabrielle Ploplis, who represents Officer Ian McInnes and Corral said the prosecutor’s office claim “that this isn’t political isn’t bore out in the timing of this press campaign.”
“Many of these charges are for conduct, which is alleged to have occurred more than 2 or 3 years ago. Specifically 27 of the counts,” Corral said. “In that time, Prosecutor Michael O’Malley claims to be so gut wrenched- What did he do? Did he provide support to east Cleveland PD? No. Did he offer legal use of force training? No. Did he ever voice concerns? No. He waited until it was politically beneficial and now tries to saddle the responsibility of law enforcement policy-making away from the politicians and onto the shoulders of the officers facing actual risk in the street.“
On Tuesday, 10 East Cleveland police officers pleaded not guilty and had individual bonds set at $10,000.
In total, 16 East Cleveland police officers are charged with crimes including assault and civil rights violations.