WEST PRICE HILL, Ohio (FOX19) – The Cincinnati City Police again make a mistake towards African-American citizens. The incident took place on November 17, 2018, but recently, last Monday, the real estate agent and the possible buyer, sued the city and the three police officers who arrested them without reason and without giving explanations due to a call to 911.
While real estate agent Jerry Isham showed Anthony Edwards the house who was interested in buying the property as it was for sale publicly and at a very good price on Purple Drive in West Price Hill, a former police officer and neighbor of the house in question, Tom Branigan, decided to call 911 to give notice that two men, entered a house without permission and breaking the entrance door. According to the lawsuit filed in federal court, the ex-official found that he himself saw that “two black men forced the entrance door (of the house) to be able to open it and enter.” The man also declared that the owner of the property was not with them.
For this reason, the Cincinnati police showed up at the scene immediately and at gunpoint, they asked both Jerry Isham and Anthony Edwards to raise their hands and do not move. The real estate professional, Ishram did not understand what was happening because, due to his profession, he was doing his job of showing the house and entering with a lockbox and without forcing it, something that the official Knox admitted that “According to the (retired officer), they forced the front door. But I don’t think so,” he said. Both Ishram and Edwards did not resist at any time or attempt to escape the place.
The men alleged in the lawsuit that they were handcuffed without receiving any prior explanation from the police force for their arrest while he was performing his job function. For this reason, both Ishram and Edwards, asked the court to hold the three police officers Rose Valentino, David Knox and Dustin Peet accountable so that in the future this does not happen again since they declared that they were never asked about their identifications or why they were in that house. On the other hand, the ex-policeman has not been sued since, according to Finney, reporting crimes in Ohio is an obligation of the citizens even if the complainant has doubts about the facts, the law will protect them.
Ishram’s lawyer, Chris Finney stated: “Instead of just talking and asking what they were doing there, they immediately pointed their guns at them and asked them to raise their hands and then handcuff them and check their pockets illegally.” While Ishram had identification as a real estate agent. The facts were recorded in the cameras of the police force.
After a few days, when the situation was finally clarified and the statements made by Ishram and Edwards were true (Ishram is the vice president of the Ohio Realist Asociation), the retired police officer who made the call that day admitted that he may have been wrong in what he saw since he has vision problems and may have misinterpreted his observation, according to the report of the city police incident. So the lawsuit concluded the episode with “All this has been done just because we are black and not white and the statement of this former policeman had more weight than our words,” said Edwards.
On this illegitimate incident and false accusation, the city police department has not yet made public comments on the matter.
On the other hand, the lawyers of Ishram and Edwards, received an email from the city lawyer, Peter Stackpole admitting that what had happened had been a big mistake and that he wanted to apologize to his clients. In one of the emails, it reads: “Please extend my personal regret to your clients that this incident happened. It should not have. I’m enormously disappointed in the retired police officer who mistakenly reported this incident as a forced breaking and entering. Had he not mistakenly (giving the benefit of the doubt) reported this incident, none of this would have happened… Your clients should know that I intend to bring the facts of this case to CPD administration for action… I want the officers to understand the ways in which this was poorly handled.”
Similarly, lawyer Stackpole concluded in his email that he was willing to offer $ 20,000 to both Ishram and Edwards as compensation for what happened, plus $ 23,000 for legal expenses and a $ 7,000 fee for the destruction of a portion of the recordings of the facts by the police force: “Those videos were deleted from the AXON storage according to the 90-day retention schedule for BWC footage…”
Although the situation was clarified and it was proven that everything was a misunderstanding, Ishram and Edwards no one takes away the bad time they had. Ishram wants no one else to happen.