An East Cleveland police officer was caught on camera kicking a black man in the back while he was complying with the officer’s demands. According to Police Chief Scott Gardner, the officer has been placed on administrative leave but will stay on police payroll through a collective bargaining agreement.
The incident began when officer Ian McInnes approached the black man outside of Best Steak N Gyros House in East Cleveland. He ordered the man to get on the ground or he would get tased. But the viral video, as well as the police bodycam show the man complying with the officer’s demands.
Once the man was knelled to the ground, Officer McInnes kicked him in the small of his back, jolting him forward until his face smacked against the concrete.
Immediately after the video went viral, Chief Gardner quickly ordered an investigation. “I advised internal affairs to commence an administrative investigation only because we actually had not had a complaint from the party,” said Gardner in a statement to Cleveland.com.
Bodycam footage of the incident has been released to the public, but we must warn you that the video contains explicit language.
According to the investigation, McInnes took the man to University Hospital for evaluation. He did not arrest the man, but believed he was either under the influence of drugs or mentally ill. McInnes also allegedly told the man that he was, “Lucky you didn’t meet my dog. The last person had to have reconstructive surgery on his arm.”
Administrative leave is something, but it ain’t much. Without a viral video, we probably wouldn’t even have paid leave. Accountability can’t come if the paychecks don’t stop. Officers who go out of their way to terrorize the very people they’re sworn to protect should be fired on the spot. Anything else is putting a bandaid on a gaping wound.
Ian McInnes will continue to stay on paid leave pending his excessive use of force investigation.