I-TEAM investigates how often Cleveland police are under attack

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CLEVELAND — Exclusive police video shows officers suddenly struggling with a man they simply wanted to question, leading to a FOX 8 I-TEAM investigation.

You may have noticed local headlines lately filled with officers under attack, but what we found may not be what you’d expect.

In the video just released, officers tell a man they want to check him for warrants, but he turns combative and even tried to take away an officer’s handcuffs.  It happened off East 152nd Street on the northeast side of the city.

This comes to light just days after we saw video of a hit-and-run driver sending an officer flying in the air, leaving him seriously hurt.

And again and again lately, we’ve reported on gunshots fired at police.

No question, police everywhere have a dangerous job, but in light of what we’ve seen in recent weeks, we investigated how often are Cleveland Police targeted.

Despite what we’ve seen in the headlines, the I-TEAM found a steady drop in the number of people arrested for attacking or fighting with Cleveland police.

In 2015, 120 people were arrested for various assaults on city officers. 19 so far this year. And, the number hauled in for resisting arrest down from nearly 300 in 2015 to about 100 so far this year.

Police union president Jeff Follmer said, “The danger still exists, even more so than it has in the past.”

Follmer believes the numbers have dropped since, he says, many officers have stopped getting involved in dangerous calls. He says officers think now about how police get questioned about what they do by bosses and citizens more than ever before.

Another factor is body cameras. Some people, now, may not act out knowing they’re being recorded.

In the case with the video just released, police finally arrested Jovaughn Oliver. They ultimately controlled him after they fired a taser.  Oliver now indicted on charges for resisting and assault.

Meantime, those stats are for cases with arrests. But, if you add in all cases with shots fired and more including the incidents never solved, the numbers would be higher.

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