EAST CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) - A video clip of an East Cleveland police officer pulling a man over for allegedly speeding has many people sounding off. The man was ordered out of the car and handcuffed. He was never ticketed for speeding.
The video has been viewed hundreds of thousands of times since Friday. The man who was pulled over recorded it with his cellphone. East Cleveland Police tell Cleveland 19 the officer was simply doing his job. A local law professor says some of the video is questionable.
You can hear the driver say, “You said you estimated, but never clocked me." There’s no way of determining when this driver hit record on his cell phone, but anyone who watches it will see both the driver and the officer are agitated.
You can hear the officer say, “I’m not gonna play this game. Get out your license." The man says the East Cleveland officer pulled him over for allegedly speeding, but he wasn’t using his radar detector.
Case Western law professor Ayesha Bell Hardaway says under Ohio law, you can give someone a ticket for speeding absent of radar, but it requires officers to keep pace with the other car. “If the officer paced him right and saw on his odometer that officer was going over the speed limit and the car was either next to him or directly in front of him also going beyond the speed limit, but it requires both cars to be moving in the same direction at the same rate of speed. I can’t tell from the video what was happening,” said Bell Hardaway.
The driver claims he was heading northbound on Taylor Road and the officer was driving southbound before making a u-turn. The part of the video that has people sounding off is when the officer demands the man get out of the car after he spends quite a while sifting through his wallet for his license.
Visibly frustrated, the officer ended up calling for backup, handcuffed the man, and you can hear the word “Taser.” Bell Hardaway says, “Unless an officer has reason that you pose a threat to him or that you have a weapon or there’s a contraband in the vehicle, it’s not protocol for you to be ordered out of the car and placed into handcuffs.”
East Cleveland Police tell Cleveland 19 the man was “pulled over and asked 10 times to produce his license, and when he refused, he was asked 16 times to exit the vehicle. He then failed to give both of his hands to the officer, which was evident from him continuing to record the encounter with his cell phone with one of his hands."
The man was given a ticket for obstruction. Bell Hardaway says, “That lets me know they didn’t have a real way of determining if he had in fact been speeding.”
East Cleveland Police say they’re doing an internal investigation.