Cleveland, OH – A Cleveland police officer who stood idly by as his partners got into a physical altercation with a combative man was heard on bodycam video telling others in the area that he wasn’t going to get involved, because he didn’t want to end up having to do extra paperwork or to be involved in a use-of-force investigation.
The video, shot in November of 2017, showed the other officers as they struggled with subdue a man who was having a mental health crisis and had threatened police, WJW reported.
Instead of helping his partners, the unnamed Cleveland Police Department (CPD) officer left them to handle the situation, and casually wandered down the street to chitchat with paramedics.
“I don’t want to go hands on,” the officer chuckled as he neared the ambulance. “I don’t want none of that cause I don’t want to do any of that ‘Blue Team’ and be under investigation.”
According to WJW, the “Blue Team” refers to paperwork and internal reviews into use-of-force incidents.
“I don’t want no parts of that,” the officer said.
Two of the officers were injured during the altercation, and the officer’s inaction has made him the focus of an internal investigation.
The same officer was already the subject of an investigation in December of 2017, after he posted a video of himself in uniform as he drove around making an obscene gesture as he danced to a song with the lyrics, “F**k the police.”
His actions in both incidents left his fellow officers infuriated, WJW reported.
A disciplinary hearing regarding both of the incidents has been held, but no internal decisions have been made.
“No excuses,” Cleveland Police Union President Jeff Follmer told WJW. “Lessons learned. He realized he made some mistakes.”