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Gay Couple Files Suit, Claims Cleveland Police Beat and Humiliated Them, Called Them 'Faggots': VIDEO


Jonathan Simcox and his partner Steven Ondo have filed a federal lawsuit in U.S. District Court claiming they were harassed, beaten, and humiliated by police in a series of events stemming from an argument with a neighbor who is an officer.

In the first incident, Simcox and Ondo said they were brought to jail in their underwear following an altercation with the neighbor. About a week later, another incident occurred:

According to the lawsuit, “6 or 7 members of the SWAT/and or Warrant Team” were on a sweep that day. Ondo and Simcox said officers then informed them they were wanted on a warrant that was issued for, “assaulting a peace officer.”
The men said each time they tried asking questions, the officers became increasingly violent.

“The officer in the glasses grabbed me by my shirt, and punched me twice in the face, after he punched me, he threw me up against the wall,” said Simcox.

Simcox says at the time of the arrest, he and his partner were wearing only underwear and t-shirts. When Simcox’s brother asked police if he could get them some pants and shoes, one of the officers allegedly responded by saying, “You can go get them shoes, but faggots don`t deserve to wear pants in jail.”

Watch FOX8's report on the charges, AFTER THE JUMP...

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  1. Not surprised at all.

    Take them to the cleaners.

    Posted by: luminum | Feb 3, 2012 2:00:56 PM

  2. I think the body of your post is incorrect. If I'm not mistaken, they were not jailed in their underwear following the first incident. That happened a week later.

    In any event...I'm not a litigious person...but I say right on to Luminum. Take them to the cleaners and scrap the badges of these bullies.

    Posted by: T.s. | Feb 3, 2012 2:22:24 PM

  3. Knowing there are people here who always make a "this isn't true, we need more facts" statement regarding stories like this, I'll preface my comment by saying this sounds extremely believable, particularly since the incident began with an argument with an off-duty police officer. I can easily imagine him going to duty the next day, going to headquarters, telling his "boys" about those queers who bothered him and "harassed" him, and him deciding to get even by getting several of his fellow boorish cops and committing this hate crime.

    Hopefully these men get everything they seek in court and can gain some closure from this awful situation. Also, this story shows, along the many other similar stories before this, that even in a pretty accepting place like Cleveland, police by and large are NOT our friends as gays, and we as a community (and our straight supporters) need to self-police for one another and for ourselves.

    Posted by: Francis | Feb 3, 2012 2:23:50 PM

  4. Further proof that Ohio is the a**hole of the world.

    Posted by: D.R.H. | Feb 3, 2012 3:14:38 PM

  5. This is why we have federal hates crimes law. The US Department of Justice needs to investigate this matter.

    Posted by: Charlie | Feb 3, 2012 3:41:54 PM

  6. D.R.H. as are all red states!

    Posted by: Robert in NYC | Feb 3, 2012 3:47:01 PM

  7. Unless you get it on videotape your case against a cop isn't going very far.

    Posted by: anon | Feb 3, 2012 4:10:20 PM

  8. Good luck guys! And yes, drh - this would never happen in any other state, good thinking.

    Posted by: Mike | Feb 3, 2012 5:42:47 PM

  9. Get. Paid!

    Posted by: Hollywood, CA | Feb 3, 2012 5:50:12 PM

  10. Yes, DRH, just because you say it, it makes it true. Nothing like a good ridiculous generalization to make an issue more clear ... *sigh* And really, all your comment suggests is that you are the a**hole of the world ...

    As an out and proud gay man who lives in a Cleveland suburb, I'm saddened and disgusted by this, and hope the police get nailed if they did it. However, Cleveland is about as blue as it gets anywhere, and only Columbus rivals it in progressive outlook towards gays in Ohio; but bigots are everywhere and even the bluest places can't avoid them.

    Posted by: Pitt90 | Feb 3, 2012 11:49:09 PM

  11. I agree with PITT90. I used to live in Cleveland and it is more progressive than people think it is. There are bigoted police everywhere so sadly, this could (and does) happen in every major city in the U.S.

    Posted by: ajjanthony | Feb 4, 2012 1:32:37 AM

  12. I posted the video of them on the news to Plus a petition for these guys. Here's the link.

    Posted by: emma north | Feb 4, 2012 3:26:28 AM

  13. Thanks, Pitt. It's still the a**hole of the world.

    Posted by: D.R.H. | Feb 4, 2012 5:40:03 AM

  14. I hope these guys win, but I've seldom seen litigation against cops results in substantial, if any, punishment for them - even when the evidence is clearly against them. Don't get me started on all the no-bill grand juries and police malfeasance!

    Posted by: J Ascher | Feb 4, 2012 7:58:07 AM

  15. Unless they got it on video or audio or one of the cops cracks, they don't have a case. There's always liars out there (remember Corner Bistro event?), but getting the truth told is an entirely different story especially when you're up against the police.

    One bright spot is that they were actually taken to central booking, which increases the likelihood of a sympathetic witness being present.

    Posted by: Yeek | Feb 4, 2012 8:06:36 AM

  16. It is pretty damning that they were found not guilty of all charges against them. They have their brother as a witness. Also all those other people who were brought into the jail that day can testify that they were not given pants. So they have a way to prove every one of the charges they have made. It is not just their word against the police. Sounds like a pretty good case to me.

    Posted by: LiamLiam | Feb 4, 2012 8:10:42 AM

  17. Agree with Charlie. The lawsuit is great, and I hope they win by a large margin, but they really need to pursue Federal Hate Crimes charges against these cops! Why isn't that happening?!?

    Posted by: Rob | Feb 4, 2012 10:34:33 AM

  18. This is distressing, it truly, truly sucks, and I hope these particular cops get dealt with severely.

    HOWEVER, as a Clevelander (2nd Police District area), I can honestly say that this is the first time I've heard of anything remotely like this. The one and only time I felt the need to call on the police, and it was definitely a "gay" situation, I was treated with absolute respect, and the 2 officers I dealt with (on the phone and at 2nd Dist HQ) were extremely helpful and not at all uncomfortable dealing with the specifics of a gay issue. So, I echo what Pitt90 and AJJAnthony said above--it's not a "Cleveland Thing" (Cleveland IS very progressive on gay-related issues)and it's not about Ohio being any worse than any other mixed state.

    Posted by: jim | Feb 4, 2012 2:07:07 PM

  19. No, no, Jim; DRH has spoken, and he is clearly correct because he wrote it down. ;)

    On a more useful note, agreed; this does seem really unusual here, but regardless, if it's true, the police need to be held to account.

    Posted by: Pitt90 | Feb 5, 2012 9:01:10 AM

  20. This could happen anywhere, in Knoxville, TN or Boston, MA. That's why we have the Matthew Shepard Act.

    Posted by: Matt | Feb 5, 2012 1:21:04 PM

  21. Cleveland SUCKS and it always has. People there are such backward. Everytime a story like this happens, the locals are more concerned about clearing the towns name over the injustice suffered by the victims. Skrew your city!

    Posted by: JamalNYC | Feb 5, 2012 8:52:28 PM

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