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Lawsuit Presses Cleveland for Records of Officer Discipline in 2010 Case

Sabodh Chandra


A family who settled a lawsuit with Cleveland police a year ago has filed a new complaint, accusing the city of sitting on information about the discipline of the officers involved in the incident. WKSU’s M.L. Schultze has more.

The complaint filed with the state court of claims says Ramon Ortizhas repeatedly asked for information from the city about whether Officer Brian Kazimer and Sgt. Dan Crisan have been fired or faced other discipline.

The two were accused of the 2010 assaulting of Ortiz’s then-16-year-old son, Juan, who has severe Down syndrome and is undersized. In a federal civil rights complaint, the officers also were accused of shouting racial epithets at the family. The suit was settled for $250,000.

The city’s Civilian Police Review Board had recommended the officers be disciplined but the latest complaint says Crisan was promoted to sergeant instead, and that the promotion may have violated the city’s agreement with the Justice Department to reform its police department.

Meanwhile the federal judge overseeing the consent decreehas scheduled a hearing for later this month on why the city has not acted on civilian complaints against officers in other cases.

The Ortiz suit says the family has continued to ask for public records, with the latest request filed nearly four weeks ago.

Cleveland spokesman Dan Williams says he has not seen the Ortiz’ latest complaint and does not comment on ongoing litigation.

M.L. Schultze is a freelance journalist. She spent 25 years at The Repository in Canton where she was managing editor for nearly a decade, then served as WKSU's news director and digital editor until her retirement.