Cleveland’s “Supercop” kills again

July 15, 2008

CLEVELAND POLICE officer Jim Simone--whose nickname is "Supercop"--has a reputation. He has racked up misdemeanor arrest rates six times the platoon average. He has issued nine times the number of traffic tickets of his peers. And on July 9, he killed another crime suspect.

Simone has been involved in 10 shootings in his career, and three of the suspects have been killed. Simone is known to be hot under the collar. A local news broadcast ran a report that showed Simone threatening suspects with death.

"You're lucky I don't bust a cap in your fucking head," he was caught on camera telling a handcuffed man.

"Don't move or I'll kill you," he told man in 2003, before police unleashed a barrage of 40 shots, 13 of which hit Mike Chiacci, killing him. Simone was the lead officer.

Simone was off duty when the latest incident happened. When he walked into a Key Bank that had allegedly just been robbed, people inside told him what had happened. He flagged down a local woman, got in her car and told her to chase Robert Hackworth, who was running to his truck.

Simone caught up to him as he was getting into his truck. Then, Simone said, he reached for something in the passenger's seat, and Simone opened fire. Hackworth was unarmed.

"I don't know what the officer saw, what the officer was confronted with," police spokesman Thomas Stacho said. "Certainly he felt the need to use deadly force. He acted heroically. This was an officer off duty by himself who confronted a male who had just robbed a bank."

This was an officer who put others' lives in danger while chasing someone suspected of a non-violent crime. He is not a hero. He is a dangerous vigilante.

Incidents like this are occurring more regularly since Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson announced plans for a larger, more aggressive police force in January. A grandfather and his grandson were injured two weeks after Jackson's announcement when a squad car crashed into their vehicle. The cops were chasing a stolen car through a residential area.
Allen Hines, Kent, Ohio

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