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East Cleveland mayor, city leaders speak after 11 more current, former officers indicted

Posted at 4:30 PM, Mar 08, 2023

EAST CLEVELAND, Ohio — East Cleveland Mayor Brandon King and other city leaders spoke to the media after Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Michael O'Malley announced that 11 more officers have been indicted for various instances of misconduct and violence during arrests over the last three years.

RELATED: 11 East Cleveland officers indicted; videos show them beating, kicking suspects, destroying evidence

King said his city has been a big part of the ongoing investigation which led to the March 8 indictments, which included charges of felonious assault, interfering with civil rights, tampering with evidence and more.

“We arrested the individuals and we asked the county to further investigate this case, we also conducted an internal investigation," said King. “At some point, some of them have lost their way. Those who have been found to have committed any crime, we will help prosecute in any way, shape or form.”

King said despite the indictment of 11 additional police officers, he still has complete confidence in the leadership of East Cleveland police chief Brian Gerhard.

“Chief Gerhard is the right person to rebuild this department to get confidence back inside and outside of this city," King said.

East Cleveland City Council President Juanita Gowdy told News 5 she'll make a formal request to bring in daily formal police patrol assistance from the Ohio State Highway Patrol and the Cuyahoga County Sheriff's Department as the indictment of the 11 officers makes its way through the court system.

“I'm shocked, I’m disappointed and I’m really upset, this should never happen like this," said Gowdy. “I'm looking forward to having the Sheriff to come out and support us because we definitely are going to need help.”

East Cleveland Councilwoman Patricia Blochowiak told News 5 she and other city leaders are expecting there will be more arrests as the investigation continues.

“If what people are telling me about the problems we’re having are true, we will have have a number of additional indictments," Blochowiak said.

Watch a replay of King's news conference below:

East Cleveland Mayor speaks after 11 more current, former officers indicted

Mayor King backed-up the request for assistance from outside police agencies after 11 more current and former officers were indicted Wednesday, severely reducing a third of the total number of officers in the department.

Watch full video of that news conference below:

East Cleveland leaders hold news conference after 11 more officers indicted

Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Michael O'Malley said the indicted officers not yet arrested will have the opportunity to turn themselves in to law enforcement on the cases filed against them.

"We are working our best to try to rid that department of all bad actors, of all criminal elements who are engaging in this type of behavior," O'Malley said. "So that the department can start from building block one, and build a department that is based upon respect and following the rule of law."

RELATED: 11 East Cleveland officers indicted; videos show them beating, kicking suspects, destroying evidence

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