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Cleveland cop accused of having cocaine in system while working previously convicted of on-duty assault

October 10, 2018

Cleveland cop accused of having cocaine in system while working previously convicted of on-duty assault

CLEVELAND, Ohio — A Cleveland police officer is accused of having cocaine in his system while working his regular shift, the second time he’s been charged with a crime while on-duty.

James Hummel, 50, is charged with first-degree misdemeanor using weapons while intoxicated. His arraignment is scheduled for Oct. 23 in Cleveland Municipal Court.

Hummel on Aug. 23 showed up for work at 9 a.m. and was given a drug test. The results of those tests came back two days later showing he tested positive for cocaine, according to court records.

He carried his police-issued gun that day and was accused of having a gun while intoxicated, court records say. Internal affairs investigators filed the criminal charge against him Tuesday.

Cleveland Police Patrolmen’s Association President Jeff Follmer did not return a message seeking comment. Cleveland police spokeswoman Sgt. Jennifer Ciaccia said she was unsure what Hummel’s employment status is following the criminal charge. 

Hummel was convicted in 2009 of negligent assault after he used a stun gun on a gas station employee. 

In that case, the employee, Charles Beckett, said in a lawsuit that Hummel threw two packs of cigarettes at him at Q’s Gas and Go on the city’s West Side. Beckett threw the cigarettes back at Hummel.

Both men later said they had “playful banter” and that Beckett followed Hummel as the officer walked to the exit. Hummel wrote in his police report that he told Beckett that he’d use the stun gun on him if he continued following him.

Hummel wrote that he then accidentally shocked Beckett after he drew the stun gun and it came into contact with Beckett’s stomach.

Hummel was ordered to perform 20 hours of community service and was allowed to have his gun back after completing the sentence.

The city later paid Beckett $5,000 to settle a lawsuit.

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