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Regional Transit Authority Police Abuse of Power Cleveland Ohio, women beware!

 
stillhere

User ID: 29204297
United States
03/31/2015 02:38 PM

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Regional Transit Authority Police Abuse of Power Cleveland Ohio, women beware!
So this just happened (not to me)

"So I got arrested tonight."

"I went to the CIFF closing party at around 9pm, had a complimentary glass of champagne and a brownie as I listened to the closing night speeches and award announcements, and then joined some old friends at the staff party, where I enjoyed a few light snacks and some conversation before leaving at 11pm, looking forward to curling up with my dogs and a good book.

I had taken the RTA to avoid the hassle of parking downtown, and, having purchased an all-day pass with my credit card at the station at 117th and Madison when I started off for the 11 o'clock round that morning, I went to the basement of Tower City to catch the rapid back to that same station.

I had a 23 minute wait, and whiled away the time looking at my Facebook feed and playing the Foundbite geography quiz game on my phone."

He said, "Ma'am, you have to show me your pass. I asked to see your pass." I had already walked past him at this point and was outside in the parking lot, and I turned around, pass in hand, showing it to him, and said, "here's my pass." At this point he ran in front of me, blocked my path and closed in on me and said, "I told you you have to stop. You have to do what I say."

At this point I literally had the RTA pass two inches away from his face, and I was saying, "It's right here! I've showed it to you! Here is my pass, it's valid, it's an all day pass, I bought it here this morning." He was very much closed in on me, throwing his chest into my face and telling me that I had to do whatever he said, to which I replied that he was exceeding his authority and that he needed to let me go, that I'd already showed him my pass and at this point he was violating my rights by detaining me.

I tried to walk past him towards my car. He started ordering me to turn around and telling me that he was going to taze me, and that I should turn around and give him my hands. I looked to the phone in my hand, meaning to turn on the video app to record this instance of me very much being assaulted by this police officer, and he knocked it onto the ground. It was still connected to the charger in my other hand, and as I started to pull it up by the cord,

he knocked me to the ground, shoved my face in the dirt, and told me that he was going to pepper spray me. At this point his voice was very high-pitched, and he called for backup as he continued to push my face into the dirt from on top of me.

He struggled to pull my arms behind my back as I struggled to gather and hold onto my possessions, some of which had scattered - my phone, charger, purse, and RTA pass. His knee was on top of my back as he cuffed one of my wrists, and then he cut my purse's handle in order to remove it from my grasp. Several other officers arrived and I told them that my rights were being violated. I told them that the officer was making a mistake and that he was being an idiot (I was definitely using profanity at some point, but I was otherwise remaining calm and not resisting).

They asked me if I'd even graduated high school. I informed them that I'd earned a master's degree, and they asked me if it was in criminal justice, as I seemed to know so much about rights. At this point I thought I could feel the presence of more than one officer on top of me as they were securing handcuffs behind my back.

Somehow I started to feel the cool crisp Lakewood air on my bare bottom, as they had somehow pulled my pants and underwear down exposing my bare naked butt to the wide open night. This had me completely terrified and I kicked back and up with my legs to get them off of me.

I hit one of them in the shins, and then heard one of them say, "NOW you're guilty of assault!" As I mentioned, my face was being forced into the dirt at this time, I was handcuffed, my pants down, and I couldn't see what was happening behind / on top of me. They were asking me questions which were not official questions ("you know so much about rights, are you a lawyer?") and I just kept repeating that I wanted to be booked and taken to the police station and I wanted to speak with a lawyer. Finally one of them saw fit to remove the officers who were on top of me, pull my pants up, turn me over and take me off of the ground and put me in the back of the police cruiser. From here things started to cool down a little as the three officers who'd arrived on the scene asked their fellow officer for the story. As he told them his version very animatedly, I kept shouting from the back of the cruiser that this was insane, that they've f***ed up, that their friend had violated my rights. One of the officers opened the back seat on the opposite side of the car and asked me my name, and I told him that I was absolutely terrified, that I had just been innocently walking out of the train station with my valid pass which I'd showed the officer at least four times when I'd suddenly been assaulted by this officer, my face shoved in the dirt and my pants pulled down, and I just wanted to be taken to the police station and put in contact with a lawyer. I was very much crying at this point. The other three officers slowly started to realize that maybe I had a point. One of them even started to apologize. But they still had to book me, and explained that they hadn't seen what had happened but that the arresting officer was charging me with resisting arrest, obstruction of justice, and disorderly conduct. They explained that I could fight it in court and that everything had been captured on video. They took the time to complete the paperwork which included asking me where I lived, what was my occupation, my name, phone number, address, social security number, and if I was affiliated with any gang (I could see that this was one of the official questions on their booking form). One of them looked around the area for my RTA pass, and picked one up off of the ground and asked if it was mine. I asked him what the time stamp said, because I knew I'd purchased mine with my credit card at just before 11am that day, on my way to see the Jury Shorts Awards Program at 11:25. We both realized that the pass he'd picked up wasn't mine, that mine had been lost in the tussle. The other officer loosened my handcuffs at my request, and asked if I'd had anything to drink, and I mentioned the glass or two of champagne that I'd had around 9pm, at the closing night ceremony. (By then it was 12:30pm and they acknowledged that I didn't appear to be intoxicated.)

Full story here--

[link to www.facebook.com (secure)]

Last Edited by stillhere on 03/31/2015 03:09 PM
"You can bend it and twist it... You can misuse and abuse it... But even God cannot change the Truth.”
Michael Levy
stillhere  (OP)

User ID: 29204297
United States
03/31/2015 02:53 PM

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Re: Regional Transit Authority Police Abuse of Power Cleveland Ohio, women beware!
bump
"You can bend it and twist it... You can misuse and abuse it... But even God cannot change the Truth.”
Michael Levy
stillhere  (OP)

User ID: 29204297
United States
03/31/2015 03:08 PM

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Re: Regional Transit Authority Police Abuse of Power Cleveland Ohio, women beware!
Bump for awareness

bump
"You can bend it and twist it... You can misuse and abuse it... But even God cannot change the Truth.”
Michael Levy
stillhere  (OP)

User ID: 29204297
United States
03/31/2015 03:15 PM

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Re: Regional Transit Authority Police Abuse of Power Cleveland Ohio, women beware!
[link to www.newsnet5.com]

"Yesterday, we became aware of the incident and immediately launched a thorough investigation.

Today, we received a formal complaint from Ms. Ferrato, and we will be interviewing her as part of the process.

From what we know now, it appears this incident could have been handled far more appropriately.

We apologize for the way this incident transpired, and this is clearly an unfortunate situation.

Importantly, we will be taking the appropriate action internally, and once the investigation is complete, we will be able to provide further details."

~~Inexcusable, officers should be better trained, this shouldn't happen to anyone, man, woman, child or elderly.
"You can bend it and twist it... You can misuse and abuse it... But even God cannot change the Truth.”
Michael Levy
stillhere  (OP)

User ID: 29204297
United States
03/31/2015 03:26 PM

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Re: Regional Transit Authority Police Abuse of Power Cleveland Ohio, women beware!
bump
"You can bend it and twist it... You can misuse and abuse it... But even God cannot change the Truth.”
Michael Levy
stillhere  (OP)

User ID: 29204297
United States
03/31/2015 03:45 PM

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Re: Regional Transit Authority Police Abuse of Power Cleveland Ohio, women beware!
From the woman this happened to--

"Thanks everyone. I woke up this morning still kind of shaken up and with a back and a shoulder full of fire but at least I woke up in my bed.

I have to say that the thing that bothers me most about this isn't that it happened to me but that it happened to anyone,

probably isn't the first time, and won't be the last, and how much worse it could have been if I wasn't an

educated white lady from the suburbs.

No one should have to be treated this way, and it happens all the time, unfortunately."

hfbump
"You can bend it and twist it... You can misuse and abuse it... But even God cannot change the Truth.”
Michael Levy
Anonymous Coward
User ID: 55833389
United States
03/31/2015 03:50 PM
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Re: Regional Transit Authority Police Abuse of Power Cleveland Ohio, women beware!
From the woman this happened to--

"Thanks everyone. I woke up this morning still kind of shaken up and with a back and a shoulder full of fire but at least I woke up in my bed.

I have to say that the thing that bothers me most about this isn't that it happened to me but that it happened to anyone,

probably isn't the first time, and won't be the last, and how much worse it could have been if I wasn't an

educated white lady from the suburbs.

No one should have to be treated this way, and it happens all the time, unfortunately."

hfbump
 Quoting: stillhere


I'd like to hear the other side of this story.

While I'm not going to say that the events as she described them couldn't have happened, I've seen way too many "educated white lad[ies] from the suburbs" who act like their shit don't stink in these situations, especially after a few drinks.
stillhere  (OP)

User ID: 29204297
United States
03/31/2015 03:54 PM

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Re: Regional Transit Authority Police Abuse of Power Cleveland Ohio, women beware!
From the woman this happened to--

"Thanks everyone. I woke up this morning still kind of shaken up and with a back and a shoulder full of fire but at least I woke up in my bed.

I have to say that the thing that bothers me most about this isn't that it happened to me but that it happened to anyone,

probably isn't the first time, and won't be the last, and how much worse it could have been if I wasn't an

educated white lady from the suburbs.

No one should have to be treated this way, and it happens all the time, unfortunately."

hfbump
 Quoting: stillhere


I'd like to hear the other side of this story.

While I'm not going to say that the events as she described them couldn't have happened, I've seen way too many "educated white lad[ies] from the suburbs" who act like their shit don't stink in these situations, especially after a few drinks.
 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 55833389


It will be interesting when the video is released, and it is a lesson to everyone that when it comes to a confrontation with a uniform you have no rights, and it is more than wise to not even have an attitude in your voice. Any fighting back in words, or actions only makes things worse. I have every reason to believe she told a fair and balanced story of what happened, it is shocking as most don't believe this could happen to them.
"You can bend it and twist it... You can misuse and abuse it... But even God cannot change the Truth.”
Michael Levy
stillhere  (OP)

User ID: 29204297
United States
03/31/2015 04:53 PM

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Re: Regional Transit Authority Police Abuse of Power Cleveland Ohio, women beware!
bump
"You can bend it and twist it... You can misuse and abuse it... But even God cannot change the Truth.”
Michael Levy
stillhere  (OP)

User ID: 29204297
United States
03/31/2015 05:01 PM

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Re: Regional Transit Authority Police Abuse of Power Cleveland Ohio, women beware!
[link to www.cleveland.com]

RTA spokeswoman Linda Krecic issued an apology Tuesday afternoon.

"From what we know now, it appears this incident could have been handled far more appropriately," Krecic said in an email. "We apologize for the way this incident transpired, and this is clearly an unfortunate situation. Importantly, we will be taking the appropriate action internally, and once the investigation is complete, we will be able to provide further details."

Ferrato welcomed the apology -- sent to media and not Ferrato herself -- but said she wanted to see RTA officials speak with action.

"What would it take to give me some peace of mind? I want to know that this will never happen to anyone ever again," Ferrato said. "It feels to me that that officer was not very well-trained in what his duties and boundaries are. ... If people don't feel safe on [the RTA] because of transit cops, that's a shame. That takes away from the city."
"You can bend it and twist it... You can misuse and abuse it... But even God cannot change the Truth.”
Michael Levy
stillhere  (OP)

User ID: 29204297
United States
03/31/2015 06:38 PM

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Re: Regional Transit Authority Police Abuse of Power Cleveland Ohio, women beware!
bump
"You can bend it and twist it... You can misuse and abuse it... But even God cannot change the Truth.”
Michael Levy
stillhere  (OP)

User ID: 29204297
United States
03/31/2015 10:42 PM

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Re: Regional Transit Authority Police Abuse of Power Cleveland Ohio, women beware!
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"You can bend it and twist it... You can misuse and abuse it... But even God cannot change the Truth.”
Michael Levy
Anonymous Coward
User ID: 67749740
United States
03/31/2015 10:52 PM
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Re: Regional Transit Authority Police Abuse of Power Cleveland Ohio, women beware!
Absolutely disgusting and appalling
stillhere  (OP)

User ID: 29204297
United States
03/31/2015 11:23 PM

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Re: Regional Transit Authority Police Abuse of Power Cleveland Ohio, women beware!
[link to www.cleveland.com]

CLEVELAND, Ohio -- The lawyer for a Lakewood woman who said she was roughed up by an RTA transit officer said her experience appears to track with recent findings that Cleveland police used excessive force against suspects without justifiable cause.

Jessica Ferrato, 39, said she was physically assaulted by an RTA officer after getting off a rapid train Sunday evening as she returned home from the Cleveland International Film Festival.

Ferrato said she was knocked to the ground and her face was shoved into the dirt as the RTA officer, with a knee pressed into her back, wrestled handcuffs on her. Ferrato said her pants and underwear were somehow pulled down during the struggle, exposing her until another officer pulled her pants up and put her in the back of a police cruiser.
"You can bend it and twist it... You can misuse and abuse it... But even God cannot change the Truth.”
Michael Levy
stillhere  (OP)

User ID: 29204297
United States
03/31/2015 11:35 PM

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Re: Regional Transit Authority Police Abuse of Power Cleveland Ohio, women beware!
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"You can bend it and twist it... You can misuse and abuse it... But even God cannot change the Truth.”
Michael Levy





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