Cleveland Will Pay Juan Ortiz $250,000 in His Use-of-Force Case Against Police

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At times overshadowed by higher-profile cases, the case of Juan Ortiz against the Cleveland Division of Police came to an end today with the city agreeing to pay the man $250,000.

In 2010, officer Brian Kazimer slammed Ortiz (16 and 4'11" at the time, with Down syndrome) into a vehicle "like a football player making a tackle," according to eyewitnesses. Officer Dan Crisan stood by and allowed the incident to take place. The two officers had been looking for a robbery suspect; Ortiz did not match the description, but Kazimer targeted him. The officers also allegedly hurled racial epithets at Ortiz's parents, who speak English as a second language.

Scene published an extensive feature on the case last year.

The settlement comes a few weeks before the case was expected to go to trial. 

Last week, the family filed a new complaint that pointed out how Crisan had been promoted to sergeant in the time since the 2011 incident. As the complaint states: "Among other requirements, the [U.S. Department of Justice] consent decree mandates that supervisors should consider officers’ numbers and circumstances of use of force, their disciplinary records, interpersonal skills, and whether or not they are subject to pending discipline before granting promotions."


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