Ohio Police Officer Faces Federal Charge of Beating Restrained Suspect

CLEVELAND, Ohio — A former Put-in-Bay police officer is charged in federal court with using excessive force against a man in custody and then lying in an attempt to cover it up.

El’Shawn Williams, 28, punched and struck someone identified as “C.G.” in the face and body on Aug. 25, while C.G. was restrained by another officer, according to a grand jury indictment issued Tuesday.

Williams filed a false incident report that minimized the force he used and didn’t mention that he hit C.G. while the victim was in custody, according to the indictment.

Ottawa County Sheriff’s Office Det. Amy Gloor interviewed Williams about the incident on Oct. 4, and Williams lied and denied he hit the victim while the victim was restrained. He told Gloor that he only struck C.G. three times in the torso with an open hand, the indictment says.

Williams faces charges of deprivation of rights, filing a false report and witness tampering.

Allegations against Williams have been under investigation since last year. Officials at the small village police department placed Williams on administrative leave shortly after an incident, and he later resigned, according to the Sandusky Register. At the time, Put-in-Bay police asked the Ottawa County Sheriff’s Office to look into the case.

The FBI also got involved, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

Williams pleaded not guilty during a court appearance Wednesday and was released on a $10,000 unsecured bond.

His attorney Daniel Morris said he had no comment on behalf of his client, who previously worked as a police officer in East Cleveland.

A message left for a Put-in-Bay police captain was not returned Wednesday.

Williams’ indictment comes at a time when police officers face increasing scrutiny for using force during encounters with residents. A particular focus has been paid to Cleveland police, which reached an agreement with the Justice Department to overhaul its policies and training protocols.

Despite this, federal prosecutors in northern Ohio have rarely charged police officers with using excessive force. They did it once in 2015, when a grand jury indicted Westlake Det. Robert Toth and charged him with beating a suspect the previous year.

A jury later acquitted Toth, who said he only punched the suspect once as a means to prevent an attack.

Williams’ case is assigned to U.S. District Judge Jack Zouhary in Toledo.

Source: https://www.cleveland.com/court-justice/index.ssf/2018/07/former_put-in-bay_police_offic.html#incart_river_mobile_index