NewsLocal NewsSummit County

Actions

Twinsburg citizens want further investigation into traffic stop involving CLE officer

Posted at 10:42 PM, Jan 14, 2020
and last updated 2020-01-14 23:16:40-05

TWINSBURG, Ohio — Some members of the Twinsburg Roundtable citizens group are calling for further investigation into the controversial traffic stop involving Twinsburg officers and Cleveland Police Captain John Sotomayor.

Twinsburg officers found Sotomayor pulled-over along I-480 on Christmas night after they received reports he was driving erratically in his pick-up truck.

Police reports indicated Sotomayor seemed intoxicated and had his service revolver with him when he was confronted by officers, but was later allowed to make a call to his wife, who picked him up from the scene. The incident captured on police body camera video.

Two weeks later Sotomayor was charged by Twinsburg police with physical control of a vehicle while under the influence in Stow Municipal Court.

But some Twinsburg citizens expressed their concerns after the officers who failed arrest Sotomayor were not suspended and were only given a reprimand, the incident placed in their personnel file.

Twinsburg Roundtable administrator Michael Turle told Twinsburg City Council and News 5 the incident should have been the subject on an independent investigation, and that Sotomayor should have been arrested and should have faced more serious charges.

“I would like to see an outside investigation done into this, how can the police police themselves,” Turle said.

“There’s been no accountability on anyone's part.”

“They should have just put the cuffs on him and taken him to jail plain and simple. None of this would have been an issue.”

But Twinsburg Police Chief Christopher Noga told News 5 he believes the officers involved were properly disciplined,\ after failing to arrest Sotomayor at the scene.

Noga said he feels he sent a proper message to his officers about the mistakes that were made in this case.

“Officers made a poor choice, it was not good decision, it’s not who we are,” Noga said.

“This is something that they have to take with them for the rest of their careers."

"I don’t want it to define their careers, but it’s something they’re going to have to live with, the video it’s going to be out there forever.”

Meanwhile, Sotomayor has pleaded not guilty to the charge against him and continues to be assigned to restricted duty pending the outcome of the criminal investigation.

Sotomayor's next court date is set for March 2 in Stow Municipal Court.