Euclid, OH — Tensions among police and citizens in Euclid, Ohio have come to a head recently after police killed an unarmed 23-year-old man for unknown reasons and officers were seen on video pulverizing another man over a suspended license. A video uploaded to Facebook captured an articulate rant by a military veteran about these recent events, directed at the police chief and mayor, which epitomized these tensions perfectly.
In March of this year, a Euclid police officer, responding to a call about a man sitting in his vehicle, shot and killed 23-year-old Luke Stewart. The police department and the Bureau of Criminal Investigation have yet to give any reason for the shooting, and an investigation would later reveal Stewart was unarmed. Naturally, the citizens of Euclid are upset and want answers.
The family and citizens demanding answers as to why these recent events unfolded like they did came to a head this week as dozens of people took over a Euclid City Council meeting.
As FOX 8 reports:
The protesters are also calling for a comprehensive investigation into the policies, practices and tactics of Euclid Police.
They point to a recent traffic stop captured on video that shows a Euclid patrolman using his closed fists to strike 25-year-old Richard Hubbard numerous times in the face and head.
Officer Michael Amiott contends that Hubbard was resisting arrest. Amiott, who resigned from the Mentor Police Department in 2014 after his superiors accused him of being dishonest about a traffic stop, has been placed on paid administrative leave.
On Monday night, protesters confronted Euclid city officials about what they perceive as a disparity in justice. A member of Black Lives Matter said, "Your officers are backing each other after they hit black people, not just hit, beat."
During the meeting, Euclid Police Chief Scott Meyer announced the suspension of the officer who beat Hubbard, noting that he will be suspended for 15 days without pay — the maximum number of days he could give officer Michael Amiott due to department rules.
After the announcement, one of the people attending the meeting, Damien Parker, confronted the police chief and the mayor to address the serious problem of corruption and brutality within their department. His well-worded rant was nothing short of epic.
"Whether or not you understand it, there are people like myself who have their hands on your reins," Parker said, noting he has every intention of holding the police and mayor's office accountable.
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"I came up here to talk to you (mayor) and to you (police chief), so that those hands can still be on those reins," Parker asserts, noting how he's been respectful, before giving them an ultimatum.
"Now, if you think, for one second, that I am going to sit here and keep that same demeanor while you're kicking folks out, or telling them you're not going to speak or bring in your damn turtles (riot police) in here to start pushing people out, you got another thing coming," Parker, who is wearing urban camo and a tactical vest.
"I promise you, that as good as your guys are, as seasoned as some of your guys are," Parker explained, "my guys are that much better."
"Let's not do that," Parker says of a potentially violent confrontation.
"Fire him," Parker says of the cop who beat up Hubbard. "He's a shit bag, and it's obvious."
Parker then goes on to inform the mayor and the chief that this community will no longer stand idly by as unaccountable cops continue to wreak havoc on the community.
While some may interpret his rant as threatening, it is important to point out that Parker is only demanding that police stop beating and killing people.
Below is the video of the total encounter.