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Prisoner hit by drunk ex-detective says he had bag of weed, not cocaine

COVER-UP?

Council considers asking FBI for help to investigate cops for alleged civil rights abuse

By CLYDE CLODHOPPER Instead of investigating why East Cleveland police officers did not arrest ex- detective Randy Hicks when they witnessed him violating the civil rights of a handcuffed prisoner, police chief Ralph Spotts is trying to find out who told and is pushing a questionable complaint against the victim. “There’s something extremely dangerous about a police chief who would use the public office he holds to retaliate against a police officer who saw wrong and reported it, instead of going after the wrongdoer and the police officers who kept quiet,” said Jon Davis. “The mayor and police chief can’t be trusted, and neither can a majority of the police officers they lead if they remain silent about this. It’s a tragedy, but in East Cleveland, there are people with criminal intent hiding behind badges and public offices.” Sources say Hicks resigned in tears last week one day after council vice president Chantelle C. Lewis publicly sought information about allegations that he’d struck Arnold Black twice while he was handcuffed. Lewis raised concerns that the citizen’s federal and state civil rights were violated by the public employee while he was allegedly drunk, armed, receiving overtime pay on duty and operating under the color of law as a law enforcement officer. Lewis also wanted to know how much marijuana Black possessed since council approved an ordinance four years ago ordering cops to stop wasting the city’s funds on overtime to process minor

Turn to the next page and keep reading!

to process minor Turn to the next page and keep reading! Police chief Ralph Spotts cut

Police chief Ralph Spotts cut a deal with Hicks to resign to try and avoid prosecution.

a deal with Hicks to resign to try and avoid prosecution. Law director Ron Riley asked

Law director Ron Riley asked council not to say anything about the deal they’d cut with Hicks.

not to say anything about the deal they’d cut with Hicks. Randy Hicks’ character could raise

Randy Hicks’ character could raise questions about is role on the FBI/DEA drug task force.

questions about is role on the FBI/DEA drug task force. Mayor Gary Norton was furious when

Mayor Gary Norton was furious when council learned of Hicks hitting the prisoner and his deal.

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Critics say charges filed against Black could be tainted by Hicks

We’ve got your attention. Keep going.

marijuana possession cases. Ex-mayor Eric Brewer asked council in 2008 to lower the penalties to a minor misdemeanor with no criminal record for possession of less than 100 grams (slightly more than three ounces). If Black had less than one-quarter pound for his personal use he was only supposed to have been issued a ticket and let go. Videotaped reports from 44112 News online on YouTube record the chief of police lying to the city’s legislative officers with a claim that the allegations against the now ex- public employee were untrue, just one day

before Hicks’ tearful resignation. It is a first degree misdemeanor to lie to the city’s officers under the city’s “falsification” ordinance during official proceedings such as council meetings. Spotts had offered a similar defense of Hicks to the ex-mayor when reporter Carl Monday confronted him on camera in 2009 with allegations that the detective knew murder victim and prostitute Sandra Varney. Spotts confessed to FBI agents that Hicks did know her and had used her as a confidential out-of-pocket informant. Sources close to Lewis said she wasn’t persuaded by Spotts’ claim and wanted to talk to Black herself. Spotts took her to the jail where she met and spoke to Black, who told her all he had was a small bag of weed and confirmed that Hicks had indeed hit him. Spotts told Lewis the report showed he was being charged with possessing cocaine, but Black said that was a lie. He’d already been in jail for four days when Lewis talked to him and should have been charged or released within 48 hours. The police source who initially came forward with the information said Black was frightened and didn’t want to say anything about what Hicks had done because no one

was talking to him.

source that Hicks hit him once, and then told him he’d fucked up his party and hit him again.

The police source said Black had been placed in a holding cell and denied access to

Black told the police

a telephone.

was obviously drunk and allegedly told the

officer who’d called him in that he was at a party. “Everyone down there knew that man’s civil rights had been violated and were trying to cover-up for Hicks,” the police source said. “Spotts cut the deal to get him to resign instead of prosecuting him. Now

he’s trying to find out who I am.

right.” Black’s claim that he didn’t have any cocaine has drawn suspicion from some on council who are now contemplating a request to the FBI to investigate. Spotts hasn’t delivered the arrest and other records Lewis asked for at the May 1 council meeting. Allegations have swirled around Hicks from drug boys on the streets that he arrested them, took their money and

That ain’t

The police source said Hicks

Go online to 44112 NEWS on YouTube to get the latest video clips of East
Go online to 44112 NEWS on YouTube to
get the latest video clips of East Cleveland
council meetings and to learn about the
RECALL MAYOR GARY NORTON effort.

NORTON TRIED TO SET ME UP TO HIT HIM: Councilman Nathaniel Martin said he had a press confer- ence on May 4 to demonstrate that Mayor Gary Norton hadn’t returned crossing guards to the streets on May 2 like he was ordered to do by council. He said Norton showed up at the press conference and got directly in his face and tried to provoke him into defending himself. When that didn’t work, Martin said Norton had an employee of the Shell gas station at Euclid & Superior to call the police. Martin said he went to get the CAD audio of the call and was told by city cops they had to wait for approval from police chief Ralph Spotts. Martin blasted Norton for using cops as his personal goon squad to intimidate council members and residents for criticizing him. He said the mayor was a coward for using cops to remove council president Joy Jordan from his office when she confronted him for the lies he was telling a Plain Dealer reporter, and for ordering Spotts to arrest Lewis when the two exchanged words after a council meeting. Norton did the same to resident Berniece Ewing.

drugs and then used it to pay his snitches or to keep for himself. Spotts and Hicks had participated in a street crimes unit tagged “The Jump Out Boys” because they drove around in plain clothes targeting street dealers for arrest. Ex-offender Bruce Martin hated Hicks and complained bitterly about him to some of the city’s ex-law enforcement officials. Hicks had made an unannounced visit to Martin’s home in 2006 when a house he owned on East 133 rd Street was called in for trafficking. The ex-detective was known to be very intimate and ruthless towards the street people he busted, often going as far as to call blacks “niggers.” Ex-offenders complained that he would often arrest them just because he had the power to do so. Knowing Hicks’ alleged history, sources say council isn’t discounting the idea that the

cocaine may have been planted by the drunken ex-cop. “Black kept saying just look at the dash- cam,” Lewis has shared with council. Council is concerned that Hicks’ involvement in the Black arrest and any charges coming from it are now tainted. “If there’s nothing in the police report showing that Hicks violated Black’s civil rights, that omission makes the entire document a lie,” Davis said. “Any charges directed at Black can now only be viewed as a conspiratorial cover-up – with Spotts, Norton and law director Ron Riley abusing their offices - to continue depriving him of his civil rights. The only thing they can do is let him go, drop the charges, issue an apology and support council if they ask for FBI and Justice Department help. Spotts should immediately resign.”

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Isn’t it time for a return to good, high quality reporting about local news?