NewsPolice Violence Protests


Cleveland police launches investigation after News 5 tweet shows officer swinging baton at protester

Posted at 11:25 AM, Jun 13, 2020
and last updated 2020-06-13 12:39:12-04

CLEVELAND — A Cleveland police spokesperson has confirmed that an officer is under investigation after he was captured on camera swinging a baton at a man trying to stop protesters and police from clashing during a peaceful protest for George Floyd that turned violent on May 30.

News 5 reporter Caroline Sweeney posted the video to Twitter that evening. The video is what prompted authorities to open an investigation into the incident.

You can watch the full unedited video below. WARNING: The video contains graphic content.

A Cleveland police spokesperson confirmed that the badge number seen in the video on the man swinging the baton belongs to officer John Kazimer and that an internal affairs investigation is underway for the incident that transpired.

Earlier in the video, the officer could be seen swinging a collapsible baton back and forth at protesters as other officers behind him arrest another man.

A man wearing a gray shirt who was apparently trying to defuse the situation then stepped forward and held his arms up and stood with his back to police as he yelled for everyone to stop.

At one point, the man points at the officer and tells him to “stop it” and momentarily turns away before looking back at the officer. That’s when the officer stepped forward and appeared to strike the man several times on the legs with the baton.

The man responded by yelling at the officer, “I was trying to help you."

Another man in the crowd can be heard saying, “An innocent man was just attacked. A peace maker was just attacked.”

On Saturday, the police spokesperson told News 5 that the officer is currently "on regular duty at this time."

News 5 has reached out to the Cleveland Police Patrolmen's Association for comment.

Click here to read News 5 Cleveland's full coverage of the police violence protests.

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