Cops in Cleveland attack and arrest gay couple, hurl homophobic abuse at them

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    Feb 06, 2012 8:52 PM GMT
    http://abcnews.go.com/US/wireStory/gays-jailed-ohio-pants-15509023#.TzA8bsiGV28

    Two gay men who say they were punched and pinned to the ground by an off-duty police officer before being called offensive names and jailed without their trousers have sued the city and its police over what they call anti-gay bias.

    Steven Ondo and Jonathan Simcox said the off-duty officer, who was a neighbor, complained about a noisy argument on the street and attacked them last April and had them arrested. A week later, they said, they were arrested by SWAT officers and were punched again at their home while lounging in T-shirts and underpants. They said they were denied a chance to get their pants and weren't provided with any in jail for a day.

    The men were charged with assaulting the officer but were acquitted Oct. 20 in a non-jury trial.

    Ondo, 22, and Simcox, 25, filed the U.S. District Court lawsuit against the city and its police last month and asked for unspecified damages. They said their goal was to deter biased treatment by police.

    During the second arrest, the lawsuit says, the officers repeatedly referred to Ondo and Simcox as "faggots" and said "faggots don't get to wear pants to jail" when they were transported to the city lockup. Simcox's brother was at the house and asked if he could get the pants for them, but police refused, although he was allowed to get their shoes, the lawsuit says.

    Police usually allow cooperative arrested people to retrieve their clothing.

    A top city official said Friday the city wouldn't discuss details of the litigation.

    "The city of Cleveland is aware that the lawsuit has been filed and will appropriately address this legal matter in court," interim Law Director Barbara Langhenry said in an email.

    Ondo and Simcox could not be reached Friday. No phone was listed for Ondo in court records, and a phone number for Simcox provided by his attorney wasn't accepting calls.

    Attorney Dan Chaplin, who represented Ondo in the criminal case, said each man weighs about 120 to 130 pounds and they were tossed around like rag dolls by their 225-pound neighbor.

    About a week later, he said, a SWAT team calling them "fags" and "queer" arrested them at their home at about 5:30 a.m. on a warrant accusing them of assaulting a police officer. The team then put them in a police van and drove around for a couple of hours making other arrests, he said.

    "They were humiliated and embarrassed. They were shackled to strangers while they were in their underwear and they couldn't leave," Chaplin said. "And the other guys that were arrested were allowed to get clothes on."

    At the jail, he said, police mocked them, telling them "fags don't deserve to wear pants" and asked them questions about their sex lives.

    "It was just real old-fashioned gay bashing by the Cleveland police department," he said.

    Cleveland police and the city's Office of Professional Standards said no complaint had been filed in the case, mayoral spokeswoman Andrea Taylor said.
  • Trepeat

    Posts: 546

    Feb 06, 2012 9:06 PM GMT
    Betcha money the officer`s an abusive, sadistic, self-hating gay who gets off on dominating and humiliating smaller, defenseless guys. Hope he wakes up one morning with a dildo in his ass so large that it ruptures his insides.
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    Feb 06, 2012 11:09 PM GMT
    Whatcha also wanna bet that without evidence or friendly witnesses all charges against the police will be dropped? And if there was any videotaping it will have gotten "lost" or "accidentally erased."
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    Feb 06, 2012 11:14 PM GMT
    its shit like this that makes me want to slap my parents. They claim I "hyperfocus" on gay issues in politics but this shit is scary and they will never understand how it scares me.
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    Feb 06, 2012 11:28 PM GMT
    Hopefully the judicial system will prove the facts and make right any wrong that has been extended. It will be interesting to follow the story. Every story has two sides but in this case, there are too many things revealed that just make no sense and are not favorable towards law enforcement. Let's hope that through it all, people are made aware and future issues are handled appropriately.
  • masculumpedes

    Posts: 5549

    Feb 06, 2012 11:33 PM GMT
    I saw enough of this in Tennessee in the 80's.......who says that times have changed? icon_cry.gif
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    Feb 06, 2012 11:50 PM GMT
    Man, I'm starting to boil when i read this.. It's not even the gay-bashing, but police corruption! Got too many of these kind of stories, and that's from Sweden, which is supposed to place very low on the corruption scale. Don't even wanna think of how much bullshit is going on in other countries.
    One thing's for sure tho, in any part of the world, police always got eachother's backs no matter what. At least that's my experience..

    Am I the only one who think police should get double the punishment if they break the law, since YOU would get a harder sentence for attacking an officer over a "normal" citizen??
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    Feb 07, 2012 12:29 AM GMT
    Were the pants really faggy or something?
  • barriehomeboy

    Posts: 2475

    Feb 07, 2012 12:36 AM GMT
    It's Rodney King all over again, maybe, we can hope.
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    Feb 07, 2012 12:42 AM GMT
    As a resident of Ohio and having been raised in Cleveland.....I am so ashamed and disgusted by this.......I really believe the 2014 Gay Games should NOT happen in Cleveland, because this attitude is not the exception but the rule and I fear that the small minds will be working overtime to find ANY reason to hassle the participants and the audience......it is shameful.icon_redface.gif
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    Feb 07, 2012 12:58 AM GMT
    He said, she said. the reporter wasn;t there, and neither was anyone on these forums to know the full story.
  • Aquanerd

    Posts: 845

    Feb 07, 2012 1:27 AM GMT
    Sporty_g saidAs a resident of Ohio and having been raised in Cleveland.....I am so ashamed and disgusted by this.......I really believe the 2014 Gay Games should NOT happen in Cleveland, because this attitude is not the exception but the rule and I fear that the small minds will be working overtime to find ANY reason to hassle the participants and the audience......it is shameful.icon_redface.gif


    Wow, sorry to here this more the rule than the exception. But I think that the Gay Games is something these clouds should not only have to attend, but actually compete. I'd love to see these guys get there asses kidded on the wrestling mat. Then afterward, they can stand around in Speedos while visitors get there pictures taken.
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    Feb 07, 2012 1:32 AM GMT
    I never like seeing hate crimes but I don't buy all of this story.
  • blueandgold

    Posts: 396

    Feb 07, 2012 5:26 AM GMT
    kaoi saidHe said, she said. the reporter wasn;t there, and neither was anyone on these forums to know the full story.



    Amen brother. I know we all have visceral reactions to this kinda stuff, but keep a clear head.