NewsChannel5 Investigators have learned the City of Cleveland has hired an outside law firm to represent the city and 13 officers named in a federal lawsuit filed by the family members of the victims of the deadly Nov. 2012 police chase and shooting.
CLEVELAND - Four of 13 Cleveland police officers involved in a high-speed chase that left two people dead have a history of excessive force allegations, including one case resulting in $900,000 in damages against the city.
Federal court records show the most recent allegation was filed just eight weeks ago involving a 26-year-old Lakewood woman.
A federal lawsuit filed in October alleges that Cleveland Det. Christopher Ereg and others dragged the woman to a patrol car and then handcuffed her so tightly it caused nerve damage to her left hand that required surgery.
Documents filed with the Ohio Secretary of State's office also show Ereg operates a private company that specializes in executive and VIP bodyguard protection.
In another lawsuit filed in August, 2011,two additional officers are also accused of using excessive force during an arrest.
Detectives Erin O'Donnell and Michael Demchak were accused of beating a guard at the Northeast Pre-Release Center in Cleveland--along with two other officers. Court documents indicate the guard was merely protecting a hole in the prison fence line, but officers driving by mistook it for a prison breakout.
The case resulted in a $900,000 dollar judgment against the city of Cleveland.
NewsChannel5 has learned the police department internal affairs unit initially urged that the officers be charged, but department higher-ups overruled that decision and cleared the officers of any wrongdoing.
The internal affairs officer who recommended charges later quit the force.
Finally, a fourth officer identified as Det. Michael Rinkus and six others were accused of beating a drug suspect, who claimed police failed to identify themselves, during an undercover bust.
The case was later dismissed.
One year after a high-speed Cleveland police chase, questions remain about how the chase ended with a shootout that left two unarmed people dead.
Family members of the victims of the deadly 2012 Cleveland police chase have filed a lawsuit against the city and several police officers involved.
Cleveland Police Chief Michael McGrath says he foresees a new policy holding supervisors "more accountable" as a result of his review into the Nov. 29, 2012 police chase.
Cleveland Police Chief Michael McGrath announced Tuesday the results of disciplinary hearings for officers involved in the Nov. 29, 2012 deadly chase. 63 patrol officers have been suspended.
Turmoil in the Cleveland Police Department has hurt officer morale, invigorated a mayoral campaign and led to frank discussions about race.
NewsChannel5 investigators learned Cleveland Police Chief Michael McGrath will begin holding disciplinary hearings for officers involved in the Nov. 29 deadly chase Friday.
Disciplinary hearings began on Monday for Cleveland patrol officers facing charges related to the Nov. 29 police chase and shooting.
New details have emerged in the case of two Clevelanders gunned down last year by Cleveland police following a police chase throughout the city.
It was shortly after the Nov. 29 shooting deaths of Timothy Russell and Malissa Williams that East Cleveland Mayor Gary Norton asked something of his law director and prosecutor.