SWAT Catches Ear of Civilian Police Review Board For Playing Miley Cyrus Music
306 and counting.
That's how many complaints have been filed since July 11, when the Columbus Civilian Police Review Board officially began accepting citizen complaints of alleged police officer misconduct.
The Sussi Report combed through more than one-third of the complaints. Allegations range from civil rights violations and excessive force to police helicopters flying too low and a SWAT vehicle blasting pop music through loudspeakers.
Here are a few that caught our eye.
Woman claims that an officer threw her mother to the ground when she approached the officer while officers arrested her son. The woman states that her mother suffered a back injury from the push. The daughter claims her brother suffered a "psychotic episode due to drugs."
Man claims that an officer pulled his vehicle over and searched it. He claims that when he was allowed to drive off, he noticed that his wallet, which he says was in the car's center console, was missing.
Officers called to a woman's house regarding a child protective services case. The woman claims officers "treated her very aggressively and believe it is due to her race." The woman, according to the complaint, is biracial.
Man alleges that an officer in a marked vehicle driving between 80 and 90 mph south of I-71 turns on their lights and tailgates drivers. He says it happens daily, and he has video evidence.
Woman says that officers, including helicopter officers, are harassing, following plus accessing her cellphone, and hacking her internet. She states she has received death threats and that Columbus police say they will kill her family. The report says the woman has contacted the Division’s Internal Affairs Bureau with similar complaints.
Man claims that two officers are committing crimes in his name and stealing his mail.
Officers arrived on the scene at an apartment. The complaint doesn't explain the nature of the call. The resident says an officer "picked up my dog and threw him on the crate" because the dog growled at the officer's K-9. The dog's owner says it was an excessive force even though he says his dog "did not suffer any injury."
Rev. McIntosh (no first name given) claims that there is a "dirty cop hangout club" on the city's westside where officers are waterboarding people. The reverend also claims officers are "filming her due to a (law)suit she had with the city three years ago."
Man claims that officers made an illegal traffic stop because of "racial bias."
Woman claims that officers strip-searched her at Ohio Health because she is Muslim. The report states that the woman was at the hospital for an appointment and stayed two weeks in the "mental ward."
Person claims that a SWAT vehicle sped past his home with Miley Cyrus music blaring out of the intercom speakers. He says it's "inappropriate."
Nate Simon, the Board's executive assistant, tells The Sussi Report that when they receive a complaint, it's entered into their case management system and reviewed by the Board's Inspector General or Deputy Inspector General "to determine if the complaints fall within our jurisdiction."
Complaints that clear that first hurdle says Simon is then assigned to an investigator to review the complaint, interview witnesses, and check body-worn camera video.
Following the investigation, the case is presented before the Civilian Police Review Board for review and recommendations.
The Board's recommendations are only advisory in that the Board has no power to discipline an officer. The Columbus Division of Police Internal Affairs Bureau will investigate those cases and present them to Chief Elaine Bryant and Director of Public Safety Robert W. Clark for review and possible punishment.
Two veteran CPD detectives that spoke with The Sussi Report say they don't trust the Board or the process.
"Hell no," says the detective. "They won't look at the facts; it'll be politically motivated. That's all it is. They get busted and want to get back at the officer in any way possible. When we prove they are lying, will they recommend that charges be filed against them? Hell no!"
Another detective we spoke with says Board members are not qualified to investigate or make recommendations.
"You have a group of individuals with NO POLICE TRAINING on tactics, use of force, etc." he explained. "And they are going to review those things and make decisions?"
Simon tells The Sussi Report that some cases are nearly completed and will be presented to the Board at its next meeting on October 4. The meeting is from 2 to 5 p.m. at 111 N. Front St., room 204.
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