SHAKER HEIGHTS, Ohio (WJW)– The Shaker Heights Police Department is investigating after one of its police officers reportedly made an obscene gesture towards protesters. The officer has been placed on administrative leave effective Wednesday afternoon, the department said in a press release.
The incident happened as a group of demonstrators marched from Wade Oval and down Martin Luther King Jr. Drive in Cleveland Tuesday night ahead of the presidential debate. You can see some of that march in the video, above.
The Shaker Heights Police Department, in a release said, it “unequivocally supports the right of Black Lives Matter and all demonstrators to peacefully protest. We explicitly condemn any action by a police officer that interferes with or disrespects the rights of citizens to demonstrate. We are committed to confronting and rooting out unprofessional and inappropriate behavior within our department, and pledge to move as swiftly as possible in this case. We recognize that behavior such as this damages relationships that we have worked hard to build. We are committed to a police force
that protects and represents all people and treats them fairly, and with dignity and respect.”
(The reported gesture can be seen in the image, below, on the far left side of the photo; it was captured during a FOX 8 news livestream.)
The city of Shaker Heights said the officer was driving a security vehicle as part of the presidential debate detail.
During a press conference on Wednesday, Cleveland Police Chief Calvin Williams said the officer was removed from the security detail for the night.
Shaker Heights police say the investigation into the officer is ongoing.
The first debate between President Donald Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden was Tuesday at the Samson Pavilion at the Health Education Campus for Case Western Reserve University at the Cleveland Clinic.
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