Police Abuse

Corrections Officer Suing Over Police Brutality by Cleveland Vice Cops

Plainclothes vice cops said they feared for their safety when the corrections officer went to draw his weapon.

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WKYC

In 2009, corrections officer Martin Robinson was posted to a hole in a fence at the Northeast Reintegration Center, a state prison in Cleveland, Ohio, when he was approached by plainclothes vice officers and allegedly assaulted. Robinson is now suing.

The city argues the vice cops were right to use force against Robinson because the uniformed corrections officer tried to pull a gun on the plainclothes vice cops who showed up near an unauthorized entrance to a prison at one in the morning.

Cleveland.com reports:

Robinson, in court records, said he reached for his weapon and yelled for for the officers, who were dressed in dark clothing, to stop.

Another guard, Jennifer Jones, said the vice officers didn't immediately identify themselves as officers until Barrow said, "These are badges, motherf—–. We're with vice squad."

Before Robinson could draw his gun from its holster, a gun was pointed at his head and in a matter of seconds, the guard was on the ground, handcuffed.

City lawyers defended the officers saying their actions were justified because Robinson had reached for his weapon, a .38-caliber handgun, putting the officers' lives in jeopardy.

A federal judge characterized their arguments ridiculous.

"The defendants say they should be able to come on state-controlled property at 1 a.m. and [be] permitted to beat a state corrections officer when that officer told the defendants to stop approaching an opening in the state prison fence," U.S. District Judge James Gwin said.

In his federal lawsuit Robinson claims to be suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder because of the assault, which did not appear to have left permanent injuries, and claims he can no longer work.

The incident raises several questions. What is it that vice cops in Cleveland do that they end up at a hole in a prison fence when they're not invited by prison authorities? Are cops so nervous and fearful that they feel threatened when other law enforcement officials engage them? And if cops are justified in fearing for their safety when a uniformed officer draws his weapon in their presence, are "civilians"? And should Robinson have been hired as a corrections officer in the first place if one unpleasant, violent incident is all it took for him to claim he can never work again?

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  1. Jesus this story just hurts to read.

    I’m out.

  2. A civil society is impossible to have without a wide dispersal of power, in fact one might argue that that is what defines a civil society. Concentrated power will inevitably be abused. Concentrating too much power in LEOs make incidents like this inevitable. The arrogance of the vice cops in this story originates from the power they believe themselves to have. Judging by the arguments from their department their beliefs are not unfounded. At least we have the unusual circumstance of having a judge with balls to call them out, albeit on behalf of another LEO.

  3. Question. Does the Clevland Police Dept have a policy regarding protocol for officers entering a prison? My guess is that they do and that these guys violated it. Does that kill their qualified immunity?

    Hoping these idiots are penalized personally.

  4. In his federal lawsuit Robinson claims to be suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder because of the assault, which did not appear to have left permanent injuries, and claims he can no longer work.

    Sounds like a serious case of the “Don’t you know who I am?!” blues.

  5. You don’t suppose those vice cops were investigating some sort of contraband smuggling operation in which corrections guards were active participants, do you?

    No, that’s preposterous. Law and order professionals would never stoop to something like that.

    1. Equally likely that the vice cops were participating in contraband smuggling operations, you know.

      1. Or that they were hired to help someone escape. Since the entire ordeal consist of leo’s whatever the worst possible scenario you can come up with is probably the correct one .

      2. That was my first thought.

      3. It seems far more likely that the vice cops were smuggling dope they had stolen from others.

  6. Man, do we ever have a bunch of fragile flowers wearing uniforms.

    The prison guard apparently is disabled after a single instance of being treated like an ordinary prole by his fellow armed state agents.

    The cops are so twitchy and scared that they lose their shit after being treated like ordinary proles for just a few seconds.

    We sure seem to run into a lot of stories about cops being the biggest pussies, scared of their own shadows, etc. etc.

    1. Maybe some enterprising lawyer could use the disability claim to claim the same for a client after a typical grind-your-face-in-the-sidewalk arrest. We could end up with incredible disability claimants all over the place. Power to the people!

  7. Hmmm.. still looking for the good guy here..

    1. Good luck with that. Personally, I wish we had a “Both beaten and killed” voting button.

  8. The happy ending would have required a frantic shootout with everyone left dead or seriously wounded.

    1. *smiles*

  9. Equally likely that the vice cops were participating in contraband smuggling operations, you know.

    Cops have the best dope.

    1. Why aren’t vice cops out getting free blow jobs and arresting the girls afterwards? Isn’t that the main job of those pieces of shit?

    2. I knew a guy who claimed to have broken into a cops house, gone straight to the top dresser drawer, and stolen a pile of drugs.

      1. Many years ago a friend of a friend showed us a briefcase with 10s of thousands of dollars and several bags of cocaine in it. He claimed he took it from the backseat of an undercover police car. Watching him pour the coke in a toilet and flush was when I started to believe him. He bought a corvette and a truck with the cash however.

        1. That story made me cry

  10. How about, I dunno, fix the fucking hole? This is a job that takes less than half an afternoon.

    1. The story leave a bunch of questions unanswered:

      How did the hole get there?
      Who put the hole there?
      Why did they put it there?
      Why are undercover vice cops interested in the hole?
      … Why guard the fucking hole rather than just fixing it? Like you say, it would take a competent contractor less than a day to fix the fucking hole.

      Here’s an article that clears this up:
      http://www.cleveland.com/metro…..th_fo.html

      The cops’ explanation is patently ridiculous.

      It also has a picture of the fence, which obviously for a very low security prison.

      1. “About 3 a.m. July 9, 2010, the day before the confrontation, a woman plowed her car into the prison fence. She said she had taken a sleeping pill and didn’t remember getting into the car or driving, according to the accident report.

        “The accident and the work to remove the car from the scene created two holes in the fence. To prevent escapes, officials posted guards at the fence. The Pre-Release Center is part of the state prison system, and it is where female prisoners go before they are released back into society….

        “[Detective Anthony] Spencer, according to court records, said he wanted to stop and talk to the officers about a bar across the street from the prison that he suspected may have been operating illegally. He and Barrow got out of the car and approached the guards, with Spencer in the lead….

        “City officials said the use of force was justified. They also noted Robinson’s behavior once he was handcuffed and placed in a police car. An audio recorder captured Robinson accusing his supervisors of being involved in setting him up with police officers. He also threatened Barrow in a rambling tirade.”

        1. The Pre-Release Center is part of the state prison system, and it is where female prisoners go before they are released back into society….

          I think we have our answer.

  11. Years ago I bartended at a Cleveland bar where cops ate and drank free, on or off duty. Many times I’d go into the store room to get more liquor and find 10 of them there in uniform having a few drinks.

    The ones who scared me though we’re the vice cops. They’d show up with shopping bags full of something and walk into the office with the owners and emerge two hours later empty handed. Then all of a sudden there would be lots of cocaine available for sale from managers.

    You didn’t want to get crosswise with those guys as they were little different than the people they were supposed to be fighting. I made the mistake of talking to one vice cops drunk stripper girlfriend one night and thought I might wind up dead in the river. One of the managers convinced the guy not to kill me and I made a mental note to avoid eye contact with them from then on. I’d put nothing past them.

  12. Years ago I bartended at a Cleveland bar where cops ate and drank free, on or off duty. Many times I’d go into the store room to get more liquor and find 10 of them there in uniform having a few drinks.

    The ones who scared me though we’re the vice cops. They’d show up with shopping bags full of something and walk into the office with the owners and emerge two hours later empty handed. Then all of a sudden there would be lots of cocaine available for sale from managers.

    You didn’t want to get crosswise with those guys as they were little different than the people they were supposed to be fighting. I made the mistake of talking to one vice cops drunk stripper girlfriend one night and thought I might wind up dead in the river. One of the managers convinced the guy not to kill me and I made a mental note to avoid eye contact with them from then on. I’d put nothing past them.

  13. Don’t know why that posted twice.

  14. I was walking past a restaurant in my neighborhood this morning and I saw a sign in the window that read “We support the NYPD!” My first thought was I would probably not feel safe going in there. Did I mention it’s an Italian restarant?

  15. The other take-home message is the utter incompetence of the other guards. If the news account is to be believed, a couple of carloads of armed men piled out and approached the hole in the fence they were guarding, refused to obey commands to stop and accelerated at one of the guards, drawing guns and tackling him as he attempted to draw his weapon to defend the prison. The other two guards just stood there while a group of armed men put a gun to one guard’s head, jumped him and beat him.

    The other guard posted at the hole, Jennifer Jones:

    Asked by the investigator whom she thought the people were, Jones said: “I had no clue.”

    If we take all that at face value, I don’t blame the guy for having PTSD. He now knows that if it comes down to it, his fellow guards do not have his back. They will let any random armed men come and kill him right in front of them and do nothing about it whatsoever.

    I suppose we are lucky that the other two guards on the scene are so utterly incompetent that they would let a group of armed men rush an unsecured opening in the fence and forcibly take down one of their own without drawing a weapon or taking any action to stop them. If the guard’s stories are taken at face value they should have opened fire when the first unidentified armed assailant pulled a gun on their colleague. That they didn’t tells me that either they were not so unsure of who the assailants were, or they are unfit for the duties assigned.

  16. LOL thats prett yfunny when you think about it.

    http://www.BestAnon.cf

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