A jury awarded an Ohio man $22 million after two East Cleveland cops beat him during a 2012 routine traffic stop, and then stuffed him in a locked storage closet at the police station where he remained for four days without food, water, or a toilet.
Ohio resident Arnold Black was pulled over in 2012 by two East Cleveland cops – Detective Randy Hicks and Officer Jonathan O’Leary – while he was on his way home from his mother’s house. According to Black, he asked why he was pulled over but received no answer.
Detective Hicks ordered Black out of his car. Black was handcuffed and placed on the hood of his car while Hicks tore apart the man’s vehicle, allegedly in search of narcotics.
Hicks asked Black why he was driving through “his city,” and then started punching him, with O’Leary holding Black while Hicks delivered blow after blow. He suffered a concussion resulting from the beating and required brain surgery, according to Fox 8.
The two cops took Black to the East Cleveland police station where they locked him in a storage closet, giving him no food or water. Black remained there for four days, and since there was no toilet, he had no choice but to use the lockers in the closet as toilets.
His second day in the closet an officer let him use his cellphone to call his girlfriend. She came to the station, but her request to see him was denied, since he was “under investigation.”
A month after his arrest, prosecutors dropped the narcotics charges against him.
Arnold Black – represented by his attorney Rob DiCello – filed a lawsuit against the city for $22 million in damages. The jury agreed and awarded Black the $22 million. The city has filed an appeal.
In addition, since the city is on the brink of bankruptcy, awarding that much money may prove to be difficult. DiCello was confident that they could at least collect part of the $10 million in compensatory damages.
When asked to produce evidence from the traffic stop in the discovery phase of the trial, the city of East Cleveland told a judge overseeing Black’s civil suit that they did not have dash cam video or police reports from the incident, DiCello said.
In lieu of a mugshot, which would have shown Black’s bloodied face, the police department fabricated an arrest report using the picture on his drivers license, according to DiCello.
The city of East Cleveland told WJW television that the officers named in the suit no longer work at the department.
Surprisingly, Detective Hicks had “corroborated the allegations against himself and the department,” according to DiCello.