Records show Officer Ta’Lor Payne recently got suspended without pay for 20 days. We requested the file from the internal investigation.
Payne posted one video of herself in uniform dancing around a pole like a stripper.
Another video shows her posing as a dirty cop in a fake traffic stop. On that recording she acts as if she’s talking to people in a car.
“I was gonna let you all go. But you all gotta give me $1,000. Oh, you all broke?” she said. “You ain’t got no drugs? Shoot. I know a lot of people with drugs.”
She posted the videos last year, but the internal investigation took months.
Video of an interview with investigators shows Payne explain why she put up one video.
“I originally did it because there was a lot of people tagging me on Facebook regarding another police officer in another state doing it,” she said.
The I-Team first revealed the internal investigation last year. A supervisor even referred to that in his recorded interview with Officer Payne.
“You’re giving the look that officers may be looking for sex on the road. May be corrupt. There’s even an article on the I-Team on it. They did a story on it.”
The officer first told internal investigators she recorded the fake traffic stop in uniform with a patrol car, although she was off-duty. But investigators determined it happened one day during her shift. In the background of that video, they heard a dispatcher on police radio giving out a call. They traced back the time and date of that call.
The Cleveland Division of Police has rules regarding officers and social media.
“Best believe it won’t happen again,” she told investigators.
On Thursday, we left a message for her through the police department. As of late afternoon, she had not responded.
Cleveland Police Patrolmen’s Association President Jeff Follmer said the union is appealing the punishment. He argued lesser “corrective discipline” such as a letter of re-instruction would have been more appropriate. Follmer added this punishment also has taken another officer off the streets at a time when the police department is chronically short-staffed.