Cleveland police insider writes anonymous letter alleging gross incompetence for how department handled protest

Updated: Jun. 4, 2020 at 3:52 PM EDT
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CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - An explosive letter written by an insider at the Cleveland Police Department alleges gross incompetence and dereliction of duty in the handling of Saturday’s protest.

19 News obtained the letter, which is circulating within law enforcement circles. The author wishes to remain anonymous out of fear of retribution.

The letter lists a series of problems the author claims officers were up against, which hindered their jobs of protecting the public and businesses.

Among the issues officers encountered: No shields available, no readily available flex cuffs, gas masks with no replacement filters rendering them useless, a lack of non-lethal equipment and severe understaffing.

In an interview with 19 News on Tuesday, Chief Calvin Williams said the department had a plan in place and while things went wrong, he said a lot of things went right because while there was property destruction, there was no loss of life and the city is under control.

Crime data from the Cleveland Police Department shows the overwhelming number of calls for help Saturday evening.

In a six-hour window, police received 374 calls from the downtown Cleveland area.

The civil unrest prompted a curfew to be issued for parts of Cleveland, which remains in place during overnight hours.

19 News reached out to the Cleveland Police Department and Mayor Frank Jackson’s office but did not hear back.

The union president representing Cleveland Police officers declined to comment.

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