September 4th, 2018
On August 27th, 2018, Mr. Grant Grier Jr. was arrested by members of the Euclid Police Department on Lake Shore Blvd. near the Euclid Hospital. Grant was arrested and charged with traffic violations.
In connection with the arrest, on September 3rd, Cassandra McDonald acting under the auspices of the “Euclid NAACP” arranged for a press conference on the front lawn of the Euclid Police Department. McDonald had not contacted my office regarding the arrest or the press conference. She did contact the Records Division the morning of September 3rd demanding the report immediately and saying that she would bring the media with her to the department if it was not made available. No other inquiries, allegations, or complaints regarding the arrest of Mr. Grier had been filed with our agency. Our organization was not aware that McDonald was involved until the actual morning of the press conference.
A copy of the statement is attached. The following is a summary of McDonald’s statement:
Grier was pulled over by the Ohio State Highway Patrol for having too dark of a window tint on his vehicle. As Grier was trying to explain why his windows were tinted an Officer yelled for him to get out of the vehicle. Grier complied and got out of the car at which time the Officer slammed his head into the patrol car and then forced him into handcuffs. He was then taken into custody without being advised of his Miranda warnings. After being taken to the Euclid Jail he was choked unconscious by the police and had to be hospitalized after suffering substantial injuries. It ends with a statement that she would be meeting with the Euclid Police Department.
One network media outlet attended the conference and ran a story later that same day in which Mr. Grier reiterated some of the details included in McDonald’s statement. That media outlet first reached out to the Euclid Police Department for comment before running the story but given that we had just become aware of the allegations that holiday morning, we were unprepared for comment without investigating the matter.
That same morning I assigned this investigation the highest priority. In the past 24 hours the allegations made in McDonald’s statement have been investigated. This includes a review of all dash camera and body camera footage that documented the arrest. The actual footage is in stark contrast to the allegations recounted in McDonald’s statement.
I offer the following open statement in response to the allegations:
The Ohio State Highway Patrol was not involved in this incident. They were not present during any portion of this incident and their assistance was never requested by our agency. The Euclid Police Department was the only police department involved in Mr. Grier’s arrest. We are sorry that the OSHP was brought into this discussion and it is unknown why that particular claim was made.
On August 27th, at 11:00am, a Euclid Police Officer was monitoring traffic near Lake Shore Blvd, and East 211th St. That Officer observed a car traveling westbound on Lake Shore at a high rate of speed, far in excess of the posted speed limit. RADAR confirmed that the vehicle, later found to be operated by Mr. Grier, was traveling 52 mph in a 35 mph zone. The Officer needed to drive at nearly 70mph to catch up to Mr. Grier. Grier was driving dangerously and recklessly. At approximately 19600 Lake Shore the Officer caught up to Mr. Grier and activated his overhead lights and siren in order to initiate a traffic stop. Mr. Grier did not slow down, rather, he continued at a high rate of speed for approximately 15 second before finally coming to a stop at a red light near the hospital. He then had to be ordered over the loud speaker, three times, to pull over to the curb lane, which he finally did. This initial behavior, coupled with the fact that Mr. Grier has a County Issued CHL permit (and was potentially armed) would lead a reasonable officer to be suspicious and wary.
Mr. Grier was advised by the Officer that he was stopped for speeding, not window tint as alleged in McDonald’s statement. Grier was ordered out of the car but did not comply. Only after refusing to exit his vehicle did the Officer forcibly remove him. The dash camera video clearly shows that while he was pulled from the car and handcuffed, he was not slammed into a patrol car. The Officer maintained control of Mr. Grier in a manner consistent with safe handling of an uncooperative and potentially dangerous suspect.
Mr. Grier had questions for the Officers and was given the opportunity to have his voice while standing in front of a patrol cruiser. While he was in custody at this time, he was not advised of his Miranda Warnings. This is because he was not being subjected to a custodial interrogation. The police are not required, by law, to advise Miranda Rights to a subject in custody unless they are going to be questioned.
Mr. Grier became increasingly argumentative, excited, and emotional. At that point he was ordered to have a seat in the back of a cruiser. The commands were ignored. The command was repeated multiple times before Officers used a wrist-lock escort technique to bring Mr. Grier to the open door of a cruiser. At the open door, Mr. Grier appears to fall lightly into the door frame of the open door. The video shows that he was not slammed, shoved, tripped, or otherwise purposefully forced into the doorframe. It is possible that it was the result of him pushing back against the escort technique needed to move him to the open door. After he bumps the doorframe, he slides into the cruiser. This is recorded by both a dash camera and a camera in the back of the cruiser itself. At this point Mr. Grier becomes even more emotional and highly agitated. He is eventually transported to the Cuyahoga County Jail, Euclid Annex, for booking. There is no further physical struggle between Mr. Grier and the Euclid Police Officers from the point that he enters the back of the patrol cruiser until he is turned over to the custody of the Cuyahoga County Jail, Euclid Annex.
This investigation uncovered no misconduct by any Euclid Police Officers during the arrest of Mr. Grier. Our officers acted lawfully, professionally, with restraint, and within the Policies and Procedures of the agency.
McDonald’s statement accuses police officer inside the jail of choking him out, which resulted in his injuries and hospitalization. The Euclid Annex is operated by the Cuyahoga County Sheriff’s Office. We notified them of the complaint as we became aware of it and they are looking into the matter. We are not involved in that aspect of the complaint but have been assured it is being reviewed.
The Euclid Police Department places the highest value on accountability to the public whom it serves. We strive to maintain transparency in all of our actions. Even though not everyone will agree with our efforts, it is important that the community trust they are treated fairly by this agency. Whenever an allegation or complaint is filed with regard to misconduct by any of our personnel, it is thoroughly investigated.
No opportunity was given for us to be a contributing member of the press conference. It wasn’t until 2:30pm, the day after the press conference, that McDonald reached out to our agency, via voicemail, to schedule a meeting regarding these allegations. The tactics employed by McDonald have done nothing to foster cooperation between the community and its police department and served only to spread mistruths and encourage mistrust. It is not an example of a productive partnership that is in any way beneficial to the relationship between the community and its police department.
The video footage and police report are available upon request to the Record’s Division. This statement and a link to a video compilation of the entire arrest will be posted on our webpage in order that the public has a fair, objective, and unbiased view of the facts.
Chief of Police