Joe Marche’s Ohio Peace Officer Training Academy (OPOTA) credentials had expired when Bratenahl police found him drunk, armed and possibly drugged with bottled narcotics behind the wheel of an unmarked public safety vehicle on December 22, 2017 outside East Cleveland’s jurisdiction where he worked.
The booking video Mariah Crenshaw of Chasing Justice obtained through a public records request is disgustingly eye-opening. At the moment Bratenahl police interacted with him Marche was in violation of Section 109:2-18-06(A) of Ohio’s administrative code and impersonating a peace officer.
” … any peace officer or trooper who, in any calendar year, fails to comply with the continuing professional training requirements set forth in paragraphs 109:2-18-01 to 109:2-18-07 of the Administrative Code shall cease carrying a firearm and shall cease performing the functions of a peace officer or trooper until such time as evidence of compliance is filed with the executive director.”
Ohio cops are mandated to obtain 24 hours of training annually. The office of the Ohio Attorney General under Richard Michael DeWine doesn’t show any records where Marche and his City of East Cleveland appointing authority trained him and maintained records of his training.
The “appointing authority” for cops in Ohio cities is the mayor. Sections 109:2-18-02(A) and 109:2-18-05(A) require all mayors in their official capacity as a cop’s appointing authority to make sure they’re trained annually using a written syllabus, lesson plan, credentialed instructors and a sign-in sheet. Since training and keeping records are duties of the office of mayor, mayors who don’t are criminally engaging in “dereliction of duty.”
The mayors are also criminally-conspiring with individuals impersonating peace officers when they let a cop with expired credentials work past the date his or her OPOTA training deadline isn’t met. It’s no different than an expired drivers license. On the minute a peace officer’s credentials expire the mayor, safety director, chief of police, prosecuting attorney and judge who engages them as peace officers are conspiring to violate the rights of the citizens the impersonator stops, searches, cites, arrests and pursues charges against.
Ohio’s operating a vehicle while under the influence law makes it a mandatory felony for a person to be drunk, driving and armed. But the gun specifications for the multiple weapons Marche carried was missing from his mayor’s court charges. So were charges for the narcotic drugs Bratenahl cops found on him.
Marche also refused to take a breathalyzer three times and that triggered an automatic suspension of his drivers license. When he returned to work and got behind the wheel of another East Cleveland public safety vehicle Marche was operating it without a drivers license or police authority.
None of this mattered to Mayor Brandon King who continued to employ and help Marche and his co-conspiring chief of police, Michael Cardilli, steal from the city’s 96 percent black tax base. Records that exist and don’t exist in the office of Ohio’s attorney general reveal that Cardilli like Marche is not authorized to perform the duties of a peace officer.
Had Bratenahl’s police and prosecutor sought the statutorily-required charges against Marche he’d have been prosecuted by Cuyahoga County prosecuting attorney Michael O’Malley for felonies instead of the mayor’s court. By concealing the gun charges and narcotics Bratenahl’s police and prosecutor may have committed a federal “misprision of felony” violation of Chapter 18 and Section 4 of the United States Code.
“Whoever, having knowledge of the actual commission of a felony cognizable by a court of the United States, conceals and does not as soon as possible make known the same to some judge or other person in civil or military authority under the United States, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than three years, or both.”
The supervisor specifically asked Marche if he was carrying a service weapon or personal weapon. So the weapon’s “felony” presence was known by Bratenahl police to be on the person of a drunk and armed man. It was mentioned in the incident report. It was completely left out of Bratenahl prosecutor Thomas Hanculak’s charges.
Despite his conspiratorially helpful mindset the video shows Marche telling the Bratenahl supervisor, “Don’t fucking talk to me.”
It shows Marche threatening the Bratenahl supervisor with retaliation by saying he’s gong to do his job if “you guys” show up in East Cleveland “over the bridge.”
The video shows Marche telling the Bratenahl shift supervisor, “I shouldn’t be arrested for anything.” The supervisor responds, “You put us in a bad position.”
The supervisor is show in the video telling Marche that he tried to drive off and resisted. They had to do what they had to do. That included breaking the windows on the undercover public safety vehicle to get him out of the car.
The Bratenahl supervisor is clearly heard asking Marche about the weapons in his possession. He’s clearly heard acknowledging that Marche was armed and drunk.
What’s evident to this writer as a former mayor of the city that currently employs Marche is that the Bratenahl police department’s video encounter on the street should have got him fired and prosecuted but it didn’t.
There’s the false perception as the video more than implies that cops and prosecutors have the “discretion” to enforce or not enforce criminal laws that exists as a contradiction to the plain language of the federal “misprision” statute making it a felony to know a felony has been committed and not to report it.
A search of the Ohio Revised Code for the two words “officer discretion” show them as non-existent in any statute. The same applies to Supreme Court rulings. Discretion is granted only for searches based on probable cause as affirmed in Samson v. California, 2006.
“The Court has reaffirmed many times that the Fourth Amendment does not permit the individual officer in the field to exercise unconstrained discretion to search. The Court has said that the Fourth Amendment is primarily directed at the evil — it was primarily directed at the evil of general warrants and writs of assistance, and the evil of general warrants and writs of assistance was that they gave individual officers blanket authority to search where they pleased and placed the liberty of every man in the hands of every petty officer.”
The legal duties of the Bratenahl cops who the federal misprision statute has identified as knowing a felony was being committed by Marche are found in R.C. 737.11 under the heading, “General duties of police and fire departments.”
“The police force of a municipal corporation shall preserve the peace, protect persons and property, and obey and enforce all ordinances of the legislative authority of the municipal corporation, all criminal laws of the state and the United States, all court orders issued and consent agreements approved pursuant to sections 2919.26 and 3113.31 of the Revised Code, all protection orders issued pursuant to section 2903.213 or 2903.214 of the Revised Code, and protection orders issued by courts of another state, as defined in section 2919.27 of the Revised Code.”
Obey and enforce all local ordinances, and all criminal laws of the state and United States. “All” is a very inclusive word that leaves no room for the words at the “officer’s discretion.”
There’s no legal authority Ohio law gave Bratenahl’s police officers or prosecutor to conceal the felony presence of weapons and narcotics on an individual impersonating a peace officer behind the wheel of a public safety vehicle.
There’s no legal reason East Cleveland’s mayor can provide as explanation for why he continues to pay and allow Marche to violate the constitutional rights of the citizens he serves while impersonating a peace officer.