Cleveland bail worker says he was unfairly targeted and arrested by police over curfew violation

Updated: Jun. 5, 2020 at 11:19 PM EDT
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CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - A downtown worker says he was arrested for violating curfew, and he claims police treated him differently than others even though he had an essential reason for being out.

Anthony Body, 33, is no stranger to the justice system because he works as a bail disrupter for a national non-profit, to help free individuals who can’t afford bail.

He had just left the Cuyahoga County Courthouse on Monday when the downtown resident says he was stopped by Cleveland Police and the Ohio State Highway Patrol coming back over the Detroit Bridge. He was riding his bike and had picked up his order of Chick-Fil-A from a friend.

“Once I descended and got down the bridge I see about four, I say about six cars. They pin me in. And then police officers hop out. Vice detectives in tactical gear. About 12 to fifteen officers total, and it was uncalled for,” Body said.

Body tells 19 News that he was threatened with going to jail, and the officers held him at that location for an hour even though getting food was supposed to be an essential reason to be out during the curfew, he believed. Then after being let go and going home, he then headed back into work and it happened again.

This time Body says he was stopped and arrested by police, even though he showed them his Cuyahoga County badge and his driver’s license.

“(The officer) he said it’s curfew. I said I know I’m going to work. I showed my county badge. It says Cuyahoga County – Bail Project at the bottom...I pulled out my driver’s license. And I showed him my driver’s license. He snatched it out of my hand. I snatched it back and I explain you’re going to respect me and I’m going to respect you. He said aren’t you the guy we stopped earlier? I said yeah. I went to get food, I didn’t do anything wrong. They radioed for a Sheriff van to pick me up,” Body said.

Body says all the while, other people were out and about jogging and walking their dogs not being questioned or asked for their identification at all.

“I’m a resident of downtown and this is where I reside,” Body said. “This is where I lay my head. This is my peace of mind. You know I don’t condemn or condone any of the actions that happened. And the violence that happened after this peaceful protest. But, the question I do want to ask is where was this patrol, this same effort, these same curfews when all those lives were being lost on the East Side? All those unsolved homicides. We want to protect businesses. But is brick and mortar more important than human lives? More important than black lives? That’s a question for the Mayor.”

19 News did reach out to Cleveland Police to see if they plan to review Body’s case since it has received national attention and since he was stopped twice in a matter of hours, but so far there has been no response to our request for comment.

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