[Editor’s Note: You can watch the arraignment of the ten officers in the video above.]
EAST CLEVELAND, Ohio (WJW) – Ten East Cleveland police officers pleaded not guilty and had individual bonds set at $10,000.
The officers who have been indicted on multiple charges were arraigned Tuesday morning.
In total, 16 East Cleveland police officers are charged with crimes including assault and civil rights violations.
In March, Cuyahoga County prosecutor Mike O’Malley shared body camera video showing what he described as “appalling behavior.” The video showed citizens stomped, kicked, repeatedly tased, and punched. Many of them had their hands up or were otherwise defenseless.
O’Malley said he was especially disturbed by a video of an officer who appears to purposely run into a suspect with his cruiser. Another piece of video showed an officer breaking a suspect’s cell phone for no apparent reason.
“What we saw again were people who had surrendered and were being brutalized and it upset me, but it also lit a fire in me that these things had to be fixed,” said O’Malley.
Former East Cleveland Police Chief Scott Gardner is among the 16 facing charges.
There are 17 total victims across 31 incidents from June 2018 to July 2022, prosecutors said.
“It took a long time coming. Corruption in our city is terrible and we’ve been crying out throughout these years and justice is getting done,” said City Council President Juanita Gowdy.
Each of the ten officers arraigned will appear in court again on April 11 at 9 a.m. for a pretrial.