Anthony Body of the Bail Project Sues Cleveland Over Curfew Arrest Following George Floyd Protest

click to enlarge Anthony Body (left) filed a lawsuit against the city of Cleveland this week - Photo by Emanuel Wallace
Photo by Emanuel Wallace
Anthony Body (left) filed a lawsuit against the city of Cleveland this week


Anthony Body, who works for the Bail Project in Cleveland, filed a federal lawsuit earlier this week against the city of Cleveland and Cleveland police over his arrest in June last year during Mayor Frank Jackson's curfew orders following the May 30th George Floyd protest and riot.

Body, who both lives and works downtown, was cited twice by Cleveland police. Once while biking over the Detroit-Superior bridge back into downtown after grabbing lunch and later that day while biking from his residence to the Justice Center, where he works. He was arrested after the second citation and spent the night in jail.

Jackson's orders were maddeningly vague and the enforcement by Cleveland police was no clearer. The curfew order made exceptions for people who lived or worked downtown, but Body and others were still cited.

The lawsuit was first reported locally by Cleveland.com.

“The arrest and jailing of Mr. Body – a downtown resident and community leader with business at the Justice Center – must cause people to ask when they have had enough,” his attorneys Ian Friedman and David Malik said in a statement. “How much money should taxpayers pay for the conduct of poorly trained or bad police officers? When will good officers demand the expulsion of those who ignore their higher obligations as civil servants? When will elected Cleveland leadership actually seek policy and systemic change within the department?”

A U.S. District Court Judge ruled last November that simply being downtown after the curfew was not sufficient probable cause to arrest. Yet, Cleveland police arrested people simply based on that.

Nearly half of the cases involving protestors, many of which involved violating the curfew, were dismissed.

One of those arrested on curfew violations also filed a lawsuit against this city earlier this year. The downtown resident left his apartment to retrieve a grocery delivery on the border of the curfew zone, which precipitated his arrest, despite the order also giving exceptions for residents leaving their houses to get essential items.
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