SWAT draws attention of civilian police review board for playing Miley Cyrus music
306 and above.
That’s the number of complaints filed since July 11, when the Columbus Civilian Police Review Board officially began accepting complaints from citizens about alleged police misconduct.
The Sussi report investigated more than a third of the complaints. The allegations range from civil rights violations and excessive force to police helicopters flying too low and a SWAT vehicle playing pop music through loudspeakers.
Here are a few that caught our attention.
A woman claims an officer knocked her mother to the ground when she approached the officer while officers were arresting her son. The woman states that her mother injured her back from the push. The daughter claims that her brother suffered from a “psychotic episode due to drugs”.
The man claims an officer stopped his vehicle and searched it. He claims that when he was allowed to leave, he noticed that his wallet, which he said was in the center console of the car, was missing.
Officers called a woman’s home regarding a child protective services case. The woman claims the officers ‘treated her very aggressively and believe it was due to her race’. The woman, according to the complaint, is biracial.
The man alleges that an officer in a marked vehicle traveling 80 to 90 mph south of I-71 turned on its lights and conductive tailgates. He says it happens every day, and he has video evidence.
The woman says officers, including helicopter officers, are harassing, tracking and accessing her cell phone and hacking into her internet. She states that she has received death threats and that the Columbus police say she will kill her family. The report says the woman contacted the Division’s Office of Internal Affairs with similar complaints.
The man claims that two officers are committing crimes in his name and stealing his mail.
Officers arrived at the scene at an apartment. The complaint does not explain the nature of the appeal. 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 excessive force even though he says his dog ‘didn’t sustain any injuries’.
Reverend McIntosh (no first name given) claims there is a “dirty cop dating club” in the west side of town where officers waterboard. The reverend also claims that officers are “filming her because of a (legal) lawsuit she filed with the city three years ago.”
The man claims officers carried out an illegal traffic stop due to “racial bias”.
A woman claims officers strip searched her at Ohio Health because she is Muslim. The report says the woman was in the hospital for an appointment and spent two weeks in the “psychiatric ward”.
A person claims a SWAT vehicle sped past their house with Miley Cyrus music blaring from the intercom speakers. He says it’s “inappropriate”.
Nate Simon, the board’s executive assistant, recounts The Sussi report that when they receive a complaint, it is entered into their case management system and reviewed by the Inspector General or Deputy Inspector General of the Commission “to determine whether the complaints fall within our jurisdiction“.
Complaints that pass this first hurdle indicate that Simon is then assigned to an investigator to review the complaint, interview witnesses, and verify body-worn camera video.
Following the investigation, the case is presented to the Civilian Police Review Board for review and recommendations.
The recommendations of the Commission are only advisory insofar as the Commission does not have the power to sanction an officer. The Columbus Police Division Office of Internal Affairs will investigate these cases and refer them to Chief Elaine Bryant and Director of Public Safety Robert W. Clark for review and possible sanction.
Two veteran CPD detectives who spoke with The Sussi report say they don’t trust the Commission or the process.
“Hell no,” the detective said. “They won’t look at the facts; it will be politically motivated. That’s all. They get arrested and want revenge on the officer in any way possible. When we prove them to be lying, will they recommend that charges be brought against them? Hell no!”
Another detective we spoke to says Council members aren’t qualified to investigate or make recommendations.
“You have a group of individuals with no police training in tactics, use of force, etc.” he explained. “And they’re going to review these things and make decisions?”
Simon tells The Sussi report that some cases are nearing completion and will be presented to the Commission at its next meeting on October 4. The meeting will take place from 2-5 p.m. at 111 N. Front St., Room 204.
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