After the police academy is done and all the tests are complete, the graduates start their lives as officers. But for 15 recruits from the Cleveland Police Academy, that may never happen.
"There’s been one recruit who said his five year old daughter would repeatedly ask him, daddy when are you going to graduate the academy and he had to tell her I’m not going to, and she doesn’t understand why and he doesn’t understand why," said attorney Eric Henry.
Henry is representing 10 of the 15 recruits that were fired from Cleveland’s police academy. The city said a few months back, they cheated and plagiarized their work, but Henry says that wasn’t the case.
This was a collaborative class where they were encouraged to work together, they were encouraged to share notes," said Henry. "This wasn’t someone looking at someone’s test this was people working together to try to get the answers that everyone was required to have the same answer."
None of them were allowed to take their final exam earlier this summer that would have allowed them to graduate after the judge sided with the city, saying it's not required to let them take the test.
"Now instead of trying to fight to get them into their job, we’re left in a position where were clawing back not only to try and save their career and preserve what futures they have in law enforcement," he said. "We're also looking at how the city’s actions could have harmed them financially going forward."
Henry says his firm, The Henry Law firm, has a federal lawsuit pending which they plan to amend in the coming weeks to include the new developments since the recruits weren't allowed to take the test.
"Get these recruits names cleared, show that they are not cheaters they are not plagiarizers, and get them into the career of law enforcement," he said.