Investigation into use of force against man accused of killing Cleveland police officer Jamieson Ritter

Peggy Gallek and Ed Gallek

2 hours ago

CLEVELAND (WJW) — The FOX 8 I-Team has learned police are investigating the force used on a man arrested for the shooting death of Cleveland Police Officer Jamieson Ritter.

In the review you can even read about what Officer Ritter was doing before he was killed.

We have uncovered an internal investigation into the events surrounding the death of a police officer.

It happened on the city’s east side just after midnight on July 4. Police arrested a man after a fight in the street. A review of the use of force against the suspect has now been launched, and that review includes Officer Ritter’s actions.

Jamieson Ritter (Cleveland Police Department)

The I-Team went to the Cleveland Police Union headquarters. Union President Andy Gasiewski told us the officers did not shoot or beat the suspect.

He said: “There’s no point in questioning them. They did what they had to do.”

Gasiewski told us that the use of force review is standard practice. But this came after an officer was murdered. And the union president notes that the suspect had a gun and machetes, and was already wanted for a shooting.

Now, however, the officers must explain what they did and why.

“It’s very difficult,” Gasiewski said. “It was society that imposed restrictions on officers to be transparent. It was a full-blown fight. This man didn’t care about anyone’s life.”

For years, Cleveland police have been under federal oversight. The Justice Department has overseen reforms to policies, procedures and training. In fact, every time Cleveland police draw their weapons, they have to fill out a form. And they have to do it whether they shoot or not.
We also went to the police headquarters.

We told Sergeant Freddy Diaz: “Accused of killing cop fights with police, but then cops get investigated.”

He replied, “So this is part of standard procedure.”

Sergeant Diaz provided an overview of all officers at the scene, including Jamieson Ritter.

“Use of force can range from taking down, grabbing a suspect and taking them to the ground,” he said. “All the way up to using deadly force. So, that whole part has to be reviewed to make sure officers are following our policies. But that’s something that’s difficult because we lost an officer.”

The internal review is also looking into why police did not fire shots during the incident.

There is a chance the review could lead to internal discipline if the officer violated the rules in some way. But any findings are a long way off.

The police union says the only question that can be asked is why someone would kill a police officer.

“So the bad guys have no rules and regulations. And the officers have a ton of rules and regulations,” Andy Gasiewski said.