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By July 30, 2017 Read More →

Officer Acquitted Of Negligent Homicide

This photo was taken the exact moment the “not guilty” verdict was read. Left to right: Cleveland Police Patrolmen’s Association (CPPA) lead counsel Brian Moriarty, Officer Allen Buford, and CPPA defense counsel Henry Hilow.

By Steve Loomis

Justice has been served. Well done to all involved in the defense of Officer Allen Buford, who was criminally charged with negligent homicide, stood trial. Allen was found not guilty the last week of July.

Thank you to the Honorable Judge Sliwinski for having the strength of character to apply fact to law without regard to the politics, emotion and media attention often times associated with police involved cases. He is to be commended for his strength of character and knowledge of the law. His eight-page decision left nothing to the imagination. It was thorough and decisive, which is exactly what we should all expect and demand from our elected judges and prosecutors.

The charges stemmed from the shooting death of an 18-year-old burglary suspect. Officer Allen Buford was holding the suspect at gunpoint as he exited the business he was burglarizing. The 6’1″, 242 lb. African American suspect charged our officer and was shot and killed during the ensuing struggle.

The judge presiding over this case gave an eight-page decision outlining the reasoning behind his verdict. Judge Sliwinski thoughtfully applied fact to law without regard to emotion, politics or the media, all of which can cloud clear judgment in use of force incidents.

It is noteworthy to mention a witness to this incident gave very compelling statements in defense of our officers initially only to rescind those statements immediately after being approached by ambulance chasing civil attorney Anthony Jordan several days later.

It is also noteworthy to note that Mr. Jordan was present in the courtroom for nearly the entire trial up through the verdict. The only time he excused himself from the trial was during the brutal cross examination of the witness that changed her statement after meeting with him.

The politically motivated charging and civil suing of police officers who acted in the good faith performance of their duties is a very lucrative multimillion dollar business opportunity for ambulance-chasing attorneys and their usually undeserving clients. That is certainly the case in this instance.

Eventually, a thoughtful judge or jury is given the opportunity to apply fact to law and remove the false narrative, politics and emotion from the equation. When that happens, police officers are almost always vindicated with a No Bill or Not Guilty decision. This was certainly the case in Cleveland at the end of July.

Detective Steve Loomis is president of the Cleveland PPA.

Posted in: Tales of Triumph

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