I-Team exclusive: Body cam video shows police saving a life

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CLEVELAND-- The FOX 8 I TEAM has obtained exclusive video showing how Cleveland police and Fairview Park police saved a life.

Body camera video shows how officers talked a man out of jumping off a bridge. And this comes as Cleveland police have dramatically stepped up training of officers for dealing with people struggling with mental health issues.

This incident happened last Sunday night on the big bridge between Cleveland and Fairview Park near Fairview Hospital. The Ohio Department of Transportation says that bridge is up to 135 feet high. A nurse, also the sister of a Cleveland detective, first spotted the man on the outside edge of the bridge.

The I TEAM obtained the body camera video of Cleveland police sergeant Janell Rutherford. You hear her tell the man on the ledge, “I don’t want you to jump.” And, "I'd like for you to come over here. Go to the hospital."

The man was distraught over a bad relationship with his young adult daughter. He can be heard saying, "There's nothing to do anymore. Nothing!"

Cleveland police are training more and more officers for situations they call “crisis interventions."  And the feds want to see more of this training as part of Cleveland police reforms. In these situations, officers find patience and creativity can be much more effective than force.

In this case, police brought the man’s daughter to the scene, and that helped to convince him to get off the ledge. Turns out, police say the same man had threatened to take his life on that bridge before. And Rocky River police say they tried to get the man mental health help after yet another incident over the holidays.

Cleveland police handle about 2400 crisis intervention calls a year for people with various mental health issues.

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