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Former East Cleveland Police Officer Sentenced to Prison for Theft

A former East Cleveland police officer, Willie Sims, has been sentenced to two years in prison for stealing thousands of dollars and firearms from citizens while on duty. Sims pleaded guilty to the charges and has been ordered to pay restitution to his victims in the amount of $10,931. Additionally, he must surrender his Ohio Peace Officer Training Academy license.

Sims and another ex-East Cleveland officer, Alfonzo Cole, were accused of stealing over $14,000 in cash and two firearms from six victims between July 2020 and July 2021. Cole was sentenced to 2 1/2 years in prison earlier this week. Both officers have not been employed by the department since July 2021.

The actions of these officers have been described as shocking and a betrayal of public trust. Judge Tim McGinty expressed his dismay during Cole's sentencing, stating that “the victims are robbed by police officers.” These cases highlight the importance of holding law enforcement accountable for their actions and maintaining the integrity of the criminal justice system.

Public corruption and civil rights violations are serious offenses that undermine the foundations of society. It is crucial for communities to have confidence in their police departments and believe that officers will act with honesty, integrity, and a commitment to justice. Instances of misconduct such as these erode public trust and hinder the relationship between law enforcement and the communities they serve.

– Cuyahoga County Prosecutor's Office
– FOX 8 I-Team