“Political” Police Reforms Embolden Criminals, Union Official Charges


The head of Cleveland’s police union blamed gunfire involving police and gun-related arrests near the scene Sunday on an ever-expanding anti-police narrative that will make officers targets, reports the Northeast Ohio Media Group. Steve Loomis, head of the Cleveland Police Patrolmen’s Association, said federally mandated police reforms, a Cleveland judge’s finding of probable cause for charges against the officers involved in the Tamir Rice shooting and the Cuyahoga County prosecutor’s release of the investigation materials in that case were “politically motivated.”

“What it’s doing, and what all these sideshows and unprecedented events are doing, is emboldening the criminal element,” Loomis said. “It absolutely is going to get somebody killed; one of us or one of them. Neither is a good thing.” An officer responding to a report Sunday of six men with guns said that he fired four shots at a 22-year-old man who pointed a gun at him during a foot chase, Cleveland police Chief Calvin Williams said. Seconds later, two other officers also involved in the pursuit heard several gunshots as they ran through a field, the chief said. Loomis questioned whether someone tried drawing officers into the field. “Up until that point, it was a very typical gun run in a high-drug, high-crime neighborhood,” Loomis said. “What doesn’t happen is, as soon as policemen start running in an open field, they start taking gunfire from above. That’s not a typical situation, and that’s very, very troubling.” He added, “We’re in an environment where people want a reason to be upset.”

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