Eleven current and former East Cleveland Police Department officers indicted Wednesday participated in “appalling” behavior and face charges including assault, dereliction of duty and interfering with civil rights, authorities in Cuyahoga County, Ohio, said after they released video showing several incidents.
Seven are facing charges for the first time, while four others were indicted on new charges, authorities announced Thursday.
The new indictments raise the number of former or current East Cleveland police officers who have been indicted in the last seven months to 16, said Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Michael C. O’Malley.
“Make no mistake, there has been a cancer growing in the East Cleveland Police Department,” O’Malley said. “We are doing our best to remove every tentacle of that cancer so that this department can rebuild and grow to put itself in a position to hire officers who enforce the law as well as follow the law.”
O’Malley showed several videos of the 11 officers participating in behavior he called “appalling.” CNN has reached out to the Cuyahoga County prosecutor’s office for the original footage of the alleged incidents in question.
The 11 new indictments stem from incidents between February 2020 and July 2022, authorities said Wednesday.
“In the next couple of weeks, we will be issuing a release detailing the 11 incidents with additional videos,” O’Malley said.
East Cleveland’s recently-appointed chief of police, Brian Gerhard, said the indictments will not prevent the department from functioning and protecting citizens.
“I have cooperated fully with the county prosecutor’s office and will continue to do so,” Gerhard stated in a news release. “As I stated when appointed chief last October, I will move the department in a positive direction, I have very good personnel on my staff that will assist me rebuilding the agency.”
CNN has reached out to the 11 current and former officers for comment.
The Fraternal Order of Police / Ohio Labor Council, the largest law enforcement labor organization in the state, said in a statement Thursday the 11 officers “are entitled to due process like all citizens” and encouraged “everyone to reserve judgment until facts are known.”
They are all scheduled for arraignment on March 28.