CLEVELAND, Ohio — Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson on Monday promoted three police officers, including filling one of the most powerful positions in the department. Jackson elevated Calvin Williams to deputy chief of field operations and named Lt. Patrick Stephens as Williams’ successor as the Third District commander. John Cole was promoted to lieutenant and took charge of the department’s sex crimes unit.
Gabriel Baird, Henry J. Gomez and Mark Puente, Best Government Reporting, for “A Question of Values.” The months-long investigation revealed, among other problems, that about 2,200 county tax records had been altered inappropriately with pens, fluid and erasures, whacking $145 million in property value from tax rolls.
CLEVELAND, Ohio — Over his 32 years on the streets, he’s wrecked cars, brawled in bars and been accused of roughing up citizens without cause. He’s also faced criminal charges of aggravated robbery, intoxication and felonious assault. His name: Jerome Barrow. His occupation: Cleveland police lieutenant, badge No. 8467. Though he’s never been convicted of …
CLEVELAND, Ohio — Lt. Jerome Barrow, hired in 1979, is among the city’s most senior officers. Police reports and other documents obtained by The Plain Dealer in response to a public-records request establish him as a man with a foul mouth and trouble dealing with authority. The documents also paint him as an aggressive lawman who does not shy away from a fight. Approaching 60, he remains physically fit. Years after many of his contemporaries retired with full pensions or took relatively safe office assignments, he continues to brave the dangers of the streets as a vice lieutenant and tangle with drunks and drug dealers half his age. Friends and advocates, including Chief Michael McGrath, affectionately refer to him as “JB.”
CLEVELAND, Ohio — The next time you click the remote control or flick on a flashlight, know that you have Lew Urry to thank. Nearly a half century ago, Urry began work in Cleveland on what would become the first commercially viable alkaline battery, the long-lasting power source for many of today’s portable electronic devices. Born in Canada, Urry received a degree in chemical engineering from the University of Toronto and went to work for Union Carbide’s National Carbon Co. in Ontario. In 1955, the company transferred him to its Cleveland office. Working out of a laboratory at the company’s research center on the city’s West Side, Urry began looking to improve on the carbon-zinc battery of the day. His research led him back to famed inventor Thomas Edison, who in 1901 had developed an alkaline battery.
CLEVELAND, Ohio — In recent months, Cleveland police officers have been accused of attacking a state prison guard, using a stun gun on a suspect who had surrendered peacefully and beating a mentally ill man after a high-speed car chase. Now they’re being accused of roughing up a teenager with Down syndrome. In a civil rights lawsuit filed Monday in U.S. District Court, Ramon Ortiz and Alma Perez say Patrolman Brian Kazimer used excessive force on their son, Juan Ortiz, after mistaking him last summer for a neighborhood robber. Also named in the suit is Patrolman Dan Crisan, whom Juan’s parents say observed Kazimer’s “unconstitutional” actions but failed to intervene.
Take a look at the data behind The Plain Dealer’s Taser story for yourself.
CLEVELAND, Ohio — When it comes to Tasers, Cleveland police have a record of perfection that some law enforcement experts believe is too good to be true. Between October 2005 and March 2011, officers chose the electrical-shock devices to gain control of struggling suspects 969 times, according to city data analyzed by The Plain Dealer. And during that period, Chief Michael McGrath and other police supervisors under his command found the use of a Taser to be appropriate in all but five of the cases they reviewed. The 99.5 percent clearance rate “strains credibility,” said Samuel Walker, a criminal justice professor emeritus at University of Nebraska at Omaha who focuses on police accountability.
CLEVELAND, Ohio — As lawsuits and brutality claims mount against Cleveland police, civil-rights advocates are intensifying calls for a federal probe. In the last 10 days, a state corrections officer and the mother of a man who died after a New Year’s Eve struggle with police have filed suits accusing officers of using excessive force. And Monday, an on-duty Cleveland officer shot and killed a man in suburban Parma while investigating a suspected burglary reported by an off-duty officer. The dead man’s family disputes early police accounts of what happened and has hired a high-profile attorney. The complaints come amid a flurry of other controversies.
CLEVELAND, Ohio — In early-morning darkness, corrections officer Martin Robinson guarded a hole that had been ripped into the fence of a Cleveland state prison as two unfamiliar sedans approached. Suddenly, two men in dark clothes emerged from the lead car, and Robinson reached for his .38-caliber handgun. Before he could draw it from its holster, one of the men pointed a gun at his head. Within seconds Robinson was tackled and handcuffed. The four people from the unmarked cars were plainclothes members of Cleveland’s Third District police vice squad. What compelled them to confront Robinson? Were they seeking information about a neighboring bar, as one of the detectives claimed? Or were they checking up on a suspected drug deal or sexual romp, as the supervising lieutenant maintained?