NAACP CLEVELAND BRANCH 16400 Miles Ave., Cleveland, Ohio 44128
| Phone 216-231-6260 | Fax 216-283-0115 | email: [email protected]| website:


Contact person(s): Michael L. Nelson, Sr.
[email protected]
James Hardiman
[email protected]

July 25, 2017 Cleveland, Ohio….Lawyers for the Cleveland Branch NAACP have filed an excessive use of force suit against the City of Cleveland and members of the Cleveland Division of Police.

Our client, Shase Howse was assaulted by Cleveland Police officers, Thomas Hodous and Brian Middaugh on July 28, 2016.

The assault occurred after Mr. Howell was initially accused of breaking and entering into what was later determined to be his own residence. In spite of Mr. Howse establishing that he did in fact live at the residence, the two officers exited their vehicle and accosted Mr. Howse while he was on the porch of his own home.

Following the assault and battery on Mr. Howse, he was arrested and detained in the Cleveland City jail for investigation. When it was established that no justification for Mr. Howes’s arrest existed, what amounted to a false report was generated by officers identified in the complaint as John Doe to justify presenting this matter to the Grand Jury. Based on that false report, Mr. Howse was charged with assault on Officers Hodous and Middaugh, as well as Obstructing Official Business.

As a result of the actions of the Cleveland Police Department, Mr. Howse was subject to arraignment, incarceration, posting of a bond, and the full weight of the justice system without there being any reasonable suspicion, threats or any other action on his part that would have justified his arrest or the concurrent use of excessive force and finally, malicious prosecution.

After numerous pretrials, and a review of the facts between NAACP Attorney James Hardiman and the Cuyahoga County Prosecutor’s office it was determined that Mr. Howse had been illegally detained, searched, seized, assaulted and battered, all in violation of his Fourth and Fourteenth Amendment rights under the United States and Ohio Constitutions and Ohio law. As a result, on October 4, 2016 all charges against Mr. Howse were dismissed.

It is important to note that the abuse of Mr. Howse occurred against the backdrop of a federal consent decree, which came about as the result of a pattern and practice of excessive force against African American citizens by Cleveland Police. We trust that among other things, that this suit will shed additional light on the need for more intense training and monitoring of the members of the Cleveland Police Department.

If the Cleveland Police Department continues in its aggressive manner against law abiding citizens, it will only create further distrust between the citizens of Cleveland and its police force, making it that much harder for citizens to work with police to make our community crime free.


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