[WATCH] Cleveland Police Officer Attacked Woman and Then Arrested Her on False Charges

CLEVELAND, Ohio — A veteran Cleveland police officer is accused of slamming an 18-year-old woman to the ground after arresting her boyfriend, then lying about what happened in order to get charges filed against the woman.

Sgt. Christopher Graham, 48, on Friday pleaded not guilty to first-degree misdemeanor charges of unlawful restraint and assault. The charges carry a maximum penalty of six months in jail.

Graham appeared Friday in Cleveland Municipal Court with his attorney, Daniel Misiewicz. He never said a word, allowing Misiewicz to enter his not-guilty plea during the 30-second hearing.

Cleveland Municipal Judge Lauren Moore continued his personal bond that another judge set Thursday shortly after Graham was arrested. Moore ordered him to have no contact with the 18-year-old woman.

The case was assigned to Judge Janet Colaluca and a pretrial hearing was set for Oct. 25.

Misiewicz and Cleveland Police Fraternal Order of Police President Brian Betley both declined comment following the hearing.

Cleveland city and police officials have so far ignored requests for comment and information on the case.

The incident happened about 9 p.m. Sept. 12 at a Sunoco gas station on West 137th Street at Lorain Avenue, according to police reports and court records.

Two teens were fighting and one of them was waving a gun, police reports say. Graham was one of the first officers to arrive and arrested a 17-year-old accused of waving the gun, according to police reports.

The Lakewood woman, who is the 17-year-old man’s girlfriend, walked up to the police cruiser and started talking to her boyfriend, police reports say.

The police report, which an internal affairs detective later determined to be false, says the woman made an obscene gesture at the officers. Graham ordered officers to arrest her, the report says.

Graham grabbed the woman’s elbow and another officer grabbed her left elbow, the police report says.

Graham then falsely claimed that the woman kneed him in the groin, according to court records. Graham slammed her to the ground, and another officer cuffed her, according to the police reports.

Graham filed a felony charge against the woman for assaulting a police officer. Cuyahoga County prosecutors on Sept. 27 dropped the charge.

Internal affairs detectives reviewed the case and found Graham attacked the woman for no reason, according to court records.

Graham was hired as a Cleveland police officer in 1996 and has been the subject of two lawsuits accusing him of abusing his police power.

In 2003, he had two patrolmen arrest his ex-girlfriend on a trespassing charge, despite the fact that the woman lived at the Oak Park Avenue home.

The city settled that lawsuit for $14,000.

Two years later, Graham argued with a man over a parking space, pulled his car over, then chased him into a coffee shop and attacked him, according to the lawsuit.

Graham tackled the man and cracked him on the back of the head with his metal flashlight. He threw the man into a rack of coffee mugs, which fell to the ground and shattered, and beat him again over the head with his flashlight, until he bled, according to the lawsuit.

Graham put his knee on the man’s chest and his hands on the man’s throat until other officers arrived, the lawsuit says.

Graham handcuffed and arrested the man on charges of assault on a police officer and resisting arrest.

The man was taken by ambulance to a hospital, where they treated him for his head injuries and stapled shut his wounds before releasing him back to police custody.

The city paid $7,500 to settle that lawsuit in 2007.

It is unknown if Graham was disciplined for the two incidents.

Source: http://www.cleveland.com/metro/index.ssf/2017/10/arrested_cleveland_cop_slammed.html