This comes to light as the I-Team has reported on a growing call for police to do more about dirt bikes and ATVs.
The I-Team requested body camera video and it shows us what we haven’t seen before. It puts you in a patrol car as police see dirt bike riders taking over the streets and shooting guns.
Three weeks ago, hundreds of dirt bikes and ATVs took over the streets of Cleveland, some suburbs and even Interstate 90.
The new video shows officers simply telling dispatch what they saw. They were told to do nothing even when they saw riders with guns.
One officer called in, saying, “For the supervisor… Suspect firing shots. Are we allowed to pursue?”
To that, the dispatcher came back on the radio, “Were they shooting at anyone specifically? If the answer is no, then the answer is no.”
911 calls show citizens calling police terrified as they were surrounded by packs of riders. One woman called three times.
“I was scared,” she told dispatchers. “Now, they do what they want.”
Those recordings show callers were told police would be out to see them.
However, the video shows that it didn’t matter even when police saw for themselves how the dirt bike riders broke the law.
The I-Team sent questions to the Cleveland police chief’s office, asking why officers are being told not to take action even when they witness crimes with dirt bike riders and guns.
We also went to see the Cuyahoga County prosecutor. He has spoken out to the I-Team before, calling on police to do more about this.
“If police aren’t directed to engage them and put a stop to it, it’s never going to end. I can tell you, it will only continue to get worse,” Prosecutor Michael O’Malley said.
Cleveland police top brass has said the department doesn’t want patrol officers chasing dirt bikes. They considered it too dangerous.
Cleveland police have a special unit to crack down on dirt bikes, but on the day of the massive takeover, that special unit wasn’t out.
Now, we see what happened as officers witnessed dirt bike riders with guns. For this story, the I-Team did not get any answers to questions or any explanation from Cleveland Police.
The Ohio State Highway Patrol recently said it would work with Cleveland police on this problem as long as it was part of a specific plan developed by the city. So far, there’s no indication that anything has developed with that.