It comes less than six weeks after Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson announced that the city had arranged for federal prosecutors to provide sensitivity training to bar owners and workers, in response to accusations by the NAACP that bars were discriminating against African Americans.
NAACP President George Forbes had believed the training was an appropriate response to the problems.
Then came the Aug. 21 arrest of Jason Ruiz and Alexander Parilla, who were recruited to work at high-powered companies from the prestigious Morehouse College.
Blaine Griffin, executive director of the city's Community Relations board, said the city is working with federal prosecutors to provide training -- as well as other efforts to bring best practices to the city on dealing with discrimination -- with the idea that everything should be completed by Oct. 1.
"We consider every one of these needs urgent, but at the end of the day, we're going to do a comprehensive approach to make sure we have the appropriate outcome," Griffin said.
In the meantime, Forbes said blacks continued to get harassed in the Warehouse District.
"I'm composed, but I'm pissed off," Forbes said. "I can tell you this -- it's going to stop."
Forbes said that Ruiz and Parilla were hanging out with two other Morehouse grads at the Velvet Dog on West 6th Street when they were separated around closing time.
Ruiz and Parilla were near the entrance and a bouncer told Ruiz to leave.
"He said, 'Nah, I'm not going to do that,' and (the bouncer) threw him up against the wall and sucker punched him," Forbes said. "I mean, just slapped him upside his head."
Forbes said the bouncer then called over an off-duty Cleveland police officer who worked at Velvet Dog who took Ruiz outside, "put a headlock on him, and hit him five times, like Gorgeous George or some wrestler."
The off-duty cop, Anthony Sauto, had a different version, according to police reports.
Sauto said he identified himself as a police officer and ordered Ruiz to leave the bar several times. Ruiz then tried to swing his left hand at Sauto while the officer was trying to handcuff him, according to the report.
Ruiz tried to grab the officer's belt, possibly going for his gun, so Sauto gave Ruiz a "few strikes" to his right eye.
That's when Parilla became verbally abusive and tried to intervene in arrest, so he was handcuffed.
Forbes, however, said the officer simply arrested Parilla because he was taking pictures of the incident with his mobile phone -- which the officer confiscated and erased.
Ruiz was charged with assaulting a police officer, resisting arrest and criminal trespass. Parilla was not charged.