CLEVELAND, OH – People who are detained, pursued, ticketed or arrested by individuals discharging police duties in East Cleveland should be using Ordinance Number 525.03 Council Vice President Juanita Gowdy, Councilman Nathaniel Martin and Council President Korean Stevenson enacted to validate their credentials. State laws instruct police that if their appointing authority hasn’t ensured they’ve received state approved retraining, annually, by December 15th; they are to “cease discharging the duties of a law enforcement officer and wearing a weapon” on December 31st.
The ordinance is captioned the Tamia Chapmann Act and amends the city’s “impersonation of a law enforcement officer” language. Gowdy asked her colleagues to support the amendments to specifically deal with what the public calls “police high speed chases” and cops making arrests without valid Ohio Peace Officer Training Academy (OPOTA) credentials.
It also gives instructions to law enforcement officers who access the FBI’s National Crime Information Center (NCIC) criminal records history databases in violation of federal laws. Pursuant to Section 1.1 of the FBI’s NCIC 2000 Manual, under the heading Data and Probable Cause, “an NCIC hit alone is not probable cause to arrest.”
Gowdy told EJBNEWS the amendments to the ordinance do nothing more than take existing laws and place them in one location as guidance to citizens, criminal defense attorneys, police, prosecutors and the municipal court judge. A violation of any section of Ord. No. 525.03 is a 1st degree misdemeanor that comes with up to six months in jail.
The ordinance further makes it clear that East Cleveland police have no authority to pursue a motorist in violation of Section 2935.03 of the Revised Code of Ohio. It’s a state law that limits pursuits across borders to those between political jurisdictions whose councils have enacted agreements with each other. It also places clear restrictions on the type of pursuable offenses within borders.
East Cleveland police have no authority to search the NCIC database and pursue based on information that a person has an arrest warrant for a missed traffic court appearance. Using the NCIC and LEADS (Law Enforcement Automated Data Systems) in a manner not consistent with federal and state laws violates Section 2913.04(C)and (D) of the Ohio Revised Code.
“(C) Except as permitted under section 5503.101 of the Revised Code, no person shall knowingly gain access to, attempt to gain access to, cause access to be granted to, or disseminate information gained from access to the law enforcement automated database system created pursuant to section 5503.10 of the Revised Code without the consent of, or beyond the scope of the express or implied consent of, the chair of the law enforcement automated data system steering committee. (D) No person shall knowingly gain access to, attempt to gain access to, cause access to be granted to, or disseminate information gained from access to the Ohio law enforcement gateway established and operated pursuant to division (C)(1) of section 109.57 of the Revised Code without the consent of, or beyond the scope of the express or implied consent of, the superintendent of the bureau of criminal identification and investigation.”
Gowdy said the amendments let citizens file criminal complaints against uncertified individuals discharging law enforcement duties using Section 2935.09 and 2935.10 of the Ohio Revised Code. The existing state laws lets citizens with knowledge of crimes report them to a judge or prosecuting attorney. An East Cleveland judge or prosecutor who fails to accept a citizen’s criminal complaint against a cop who has arrested without OPOTA credentials, searched license plates in violation of federal and state laws or pursued across borders commits a prosecutable criminal act.
Pursuant to Section 9.87 of the Revised Code of Ohio the state “indemnifies” officers and employees who are sued, but only when their conduct is authorized by law. This places responsibility on East Cleveland and other city legislators to provide legal coverage and pay for the damages of an employee’s “lawful” conduct that results in harm or a violated right. That’s not the case for employees whose acts are unauthorized by law pursuant to Section 9.87(B)(2) of the Revised Code.
(B) The state shall not indemnify an officer or employee under any of the following circumstances: (2) When the officer or employee acts manifestly outside the scope of the officer’s or employee’s employment or official responsibilities, with malicious purpose, in bad faith, or in a wanton or reckless manner, as determined by the employer of the officer or employee or by the attorney general.
Gowdy said she and the other two members of council don’t believe East Cleveland taxpayers should be providing legal representation or covering the damages of individuals impersonating law enforcement officers; and those acting outside he law. Cops facing criminal complaints from citizens for misconduct are supposed to hire their own attorneys.
Section 4 of Ordinance No. 525.03 was specifically amended to read that “an individual operating without valid credentials and exceeding the scope of their statutory authority is not a peace officer for the purposes of this ordinance.”
Martin told EJBNEWS he voted for Ord. No. 525.03 because he sees the police under Mayor Brandon King and chief of police Scott Gardner as “out of control.” Gardner was indicted twice for felonies by prosecutors in Medina and Cuyahoga counties. After pleading down the felonies to misdemeanors two court of common pleas judges, ex-Medina Judge James Kimbler and Cuyahoga Judge Deena Calabreese, had duties to inform East Cleveland officials that he was no longer authorized to work in law enforcement.
Ohio law prevented McDonald from receiving OPOTA credentials so Gardner and ex-chief Michael Cardilli engaged in an organized crime scheme to hide their lack of credentials and those of 24 other law enforcement officer impersonators from council. Larry McDonald continues to operate like the others in violation of Section 109:2-1-12(G) of the Ohio Administrative Code that instructed them to “cease discharging the duties of law enforcement officers and to cease carrying a weapon.”
Gowdy, who is campaigning for mayor, said McDonald was a private citizen when he murdered Vincent Belmonte. Whether Ordinance No. 525.03 existed already or not, and irrespective as to whether council amended it, Gowdy said East Cleveland prosecutors have duties to the citizens and not the police.
Pursuant to Section 2935.09 and 2935.10 of the Ohio Revised Code, it’s the duty of the city’s prosecutors and judge to accept criminal complaints from American citizens against police violating laws while operating as law enforcement officers without credentials; and beyond the authority of the public offices they hold. The two unsuspended general laws of the state already exist so Gowdy said they were added to Ordinance No. 525.03 so Americans whose rights were violated because of uncertified police or police who disobeyed laws knew to use them.
Gowdy said she is strongly encouraging American citizens East Cleveland police are stopping, searching, arresting, citing and chasing to demand that city’s prosecutors deliver every annual record associated with their authorization from the Ohio Attorney General to work as certified law enforcement officers as exculpatory evidence. Prosecutors have duties to deliver documents showing that the “appointing authority,” either the Civil Service Commission or the mayor, has requested approval for annual police training from the executive director of OPOTA. The chief of police is not an “appointing authority” under Ohio law.
Gowdy said license plate searches in East Cleveland are required to be used “for the protection of the officer on the street” pursuant to Section 4501: 2-10-03(B)(1)(d) of the Ohio Administrative Code. She said driving on public streets is not “probable cause” and Americans have 4th Amendment and 14th Amendment rights to be protected from government’s unlawful searches and seizures. Gowdy said Ordinance No. 525.03’s guidance on the use of the NCIC databases requires the city’s prosecutors to adjust “affirmative defenses” to include claims that the license plate search was not authorized by federal and state laws.
“If the FBI oversees the NCIC database for Congress, and the NCIC 2000 Manual instructs police across the nation that an NCIC hit alone is not probable cause to arrest, it is logical to conclude that an NCIC hit alone is not probable cause to pursue someone driving a car to death,” Gowdy said. “The person driving the car is not always the person to whom it is registered. Congress has also been advised that the information on half the Americans whose names are in it is inaccurate.”
Gowdy told EJBNEWS the goal of Ordinance No. 525.03’s amendments is to let Americans interacting with East Cleveland’s government officials know they have rights; and to let law enforcement officers know they’re not covered when they violate laws and constitutional rights.
Ordinance No. 525.03 as amended is shared in full below.
(a) For the purpose of this chapter, the following definitions shall apply unless the context clearly indicates or requires a different meaning.
(1) FEDERAL LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICER. An employee of the United States who serves in a position, the duties of which are primarily the investigation, apprehension or detention of individuals suspected or convicted of offenses under the criminal laws of the United States.
(2) IMPERSONATE. To act the part of A LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICER, assume the identity of A LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICER, wear the uniform or any part of the uniform of A LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICER or display the identification of a particular person or of a member of a class of persons OR LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICER with purpose to make another person believe that the actor is that particular person or is a member of that class of persons OR A LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICER.
(a) TO DISCHARGE THE DUTIES OF A LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICER WITHOUT VALID OR WITH FRAUDULENT OHIO PEACE OFFICER TRAINING ACADEMY CREDENTIALS IN VIOLATION OF SECTION 109: 2-1-12 OF THE OHIO ADMINISTRATIVE CODE.
(b) TO DISCHARGE THE DUTIES OF A LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICER IN VIOLATION OF A CEASE ORDER FROM THE OHIO ATTORNEY GENERAL PURSUANT TO SECTION 109:2-1-12(G) INSTRUCTING THEM TO CEASE DISCHARGING THE DUTIES OF LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICERS AND TO CEASE CARRYING A WEAPON.
(c) TO DISCHARGE THE DUTIES OF A LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICERS INSIDE THE MUNICIPAL CORPORATION OF EAST CLEVELAND AS A LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICER FROM ANOTHER MUNICIPAL CORPORATION, QUASI-GOVERNMENTAL AGENCY, INSTITUTION, AGENCY, UNIVERSITY, HOSPITAL, TRANSIT AUTHORITY WHOSE LEGISLATIVE AUTHORITY OR GOVERNING BOARD HAS NOT ENTERED A WARRANTLESS PURSUIT AGREEMENT PURSUANT TO R.C 2935.03.
(d) TO DISCHARGE THE DUTIES OF AN EAST CLEVELAND LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICER OUTSIDE THE MUNICIPAL CORPORATION OF EAST CLEVELAND AND INSIDE THE BORDERS OR ON THE PROPERTY OF ANOTHER MUNICIPAL CORPORATION, QUASI-GOVERNMENTAL AGENCY, INSTITUTION, AGENCY, UNIVERSITY OR HOSPITAL WHOSE LEGISLATIVE AUTHORITY OR GOVERNING BOARD HAS NOT ENTERED A WARRANTLESS PURSUIT AGREEMENT PURSUANT TO R.C. 2935.03.
(d) TO DISCHARGE THE DUTIES OF A LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICER OF THE OHIO HIGHWAY PATROL INSIDE THE MUNICIPAL CORPORATION OF EAST CLEVELAND WHERE R.C. 5503.02 HAS INSTRUCTS THE STATE’S LAW ENFORCEMENT EMPLOYEES THEY HAVE NO AUTHORITY TO INVESTIGATE AND REPORT ACCIDENTS; OR
ENFORCE THE STATE’S LAWS.
(3 INVESTIGATOR OF THE BUREAU OF CRIMINAL IDENTIFICATION AND INVESTIGATION. Has the same meaning as in Ohio R.C. 2903.11 OPERATING WITHIN THE STATUTORY LIMITS OF A BCI INVESTIGATOR AS DEFINED IN SECTION 109:5 OF OHIO’S ADMINISTRATIVE CODE; AND OPERATING WITHIN THE POWERS AND DUTIES GRANTED TO THEM IN R.C. 109.054.
(4) PEACE OFFICER. A sheriff, deputy sheriff, marshal, deputy marshal, member of the organized police department of a municipal corporation OPERATING PURSUANT TO THE AUTHORITY IMPOSED UPON MUNICIPAL POLICE OFFICERS UNDER R.C. 737.11; or township constable who is employed by a political subdivision of this state, a member of a police force employed by a metropolitan housing authority under Ohio R.C. 3735.31(D), a member of a police force employed by a regional transit authority under Ohio R.C. 306.35(Y), a state university law enforcement officer appointed under Ohio R.C. 3345.04, a veterans’ home police officer appointed under Ohio R.C. 5907.02, a special police officer employed by a port authority under Ohio R.C. 4582.04 or 4582.28, or a state highway patrol trooper and whose primary duties are to preserve the peace, to protect life and property and to enforce the laws, ordinances or rules of the state or any of its political subdivisions ALL WHILE OPERATING WITH VALID CREDENTIALS AND WITHIN THE STATUTORY LIMITS OF THE PUBLIC OFFICES AND JOBS THEY HOLD. AN INDIVIDUAL OPERATING WITHOUT VALID CREDENTIALS AND EXCEEDING THE SCOPE OF THEIR STATUTORY AUTHORITY IS NOT A PEACE OFFICER FOR THE PURPOSES OF THIS ORDINANCE.
(5) PRIVATE POLICE OFFICER. Any security guard, special police officer, private detective or other person who is privately employed in a police-LIKE OR QUASI-LAW ENFORCEMENT capacity; AND WHO IS ACTING WITHIN THE LIMITS OF THEIR STATUTORY AUTHORITY.
(b) No person shall impersonate a MUNICIPAL LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICER OF THE MUNICIPAL CORPORATION OPERATING UNDER R.C. 737.11, peace officer, private police officer, a federal law enforcement officer or investigator of the Bureau of Criminal Identification and Investigation.
(c) No person, by impersonating a MUNICIPAL LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICER OF THE MUNICIPAL CORPORATION OPERATING UNDER R.C. 737.11, peace officer, a private police officer, a federal law enforcement officer, or Investigator of the Bureau of Criminal Identification and Investigation, shall arrest or detain any person, search any person or search the property of any person, OPERATE A PUBLIC SAFETY VEHICLE OR ITS EQUIPMENT, OR ACCESS THE NCIC/LEADS/NLETS/INTERPOL CRIMINAL RECORDS HISTORY DATABASES; OR OPERATE THE DATABASES IN VIOLATION OF FBI’S NCIC MANUAL OR ANY FEDERAL OR STATE LAW OR RULE IDENTIFIED IN THE CITY’S USER AGREEMENT WITH THE OHIO HIGHWAY PATROL.
(d) No person, with purpose to commit or facilitate the commission of an offense OF THEFT IN OFFICE IN EXCHANGE FOR UNAUTHORIZED WAGES, HEALTH CARE BENEFITS AND PENSIONS, shall impersonate a MUNICIPAL LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICER OF THE MUNICIPAL CORPORATION OPERATING UNDER R.C. 737.11, peace officer, a private police officer, a federal law enforcement officer or investigator of the Bureau of Criminal Identification and Investigation or an officer, agent or employee of the state or the municipality.
(e) It is NOT an affirmative defense to a charge under division (b) above that the impersonation of the MUNICIPAL LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICER OPERATING UNDER R.C. 737.11 OR A peace officer was for a lawful purpose.
(f) No person shall falsely pretend or represent himself or herself to be a MUNICIPAL LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICER OPERATING UNDER R.C. 737.11, public official or public servant with intent to induce another to submit to such pretended official authority or otherwise to act in reliance upon that pretense to his or her prejudice.
(g) NO OFFICER OR EMPLOYEE OF THE MUNICIPAL CORPORATION SHALL FAIL TO ENFORCE ALL PROVISIONS OF THIS ORDINANCE AS WRITTEN; OR REFUSE TO ACCEPT A COMPLAINT FROM A CITIZEN WHO ALLEGES A VIOLATION OF IT PURSUANT TO R.C. 2935.09 AND R.C. 2935.10.
WHOEVER VIOLATES ANY SECTION OF ORD. NO. 525.03 SHALL BE IMPRISONED FOR A TERM OF SIX MONTHS AND FINED $1000 PURSUANT TO ORD. NO. 501.99. BACKGROUND ADOPTIVE LANGUAGE: