CLEVELAND — The Cleveland Division of Police has reassigned Ismail Quran while an investigation determines if the officer posted antisemitic messages on social media during a period between 2013 and 2015.
The social media posts were brought to light on Friday before Quran's account was deactivated. StopAntisemitism claims the department's former Officer of the Year made several disparaging remarks about Jews and even praised Adolf Hitler.
"We are asking that the Cleveland Police Department and again the mayor's office of Cleveland to not only terminate this officer, but rescind any and all awards that have been granted to him," StopAntisemitism executive director Liora Rez said in a statement.
Quran received the 2019 "Police Officer of the Year Award" in 2019. At the time, he was referred to as a gifted communicator, an invaluable resource and embodying the philosophy of the force.
The Cleveland Division of Police office of public affairs released a statement on Monday:
"The City of Cleveland, Division of Police was made aware of a matter involving a Cleveland Police Officer and inappropriate social media content posted in 2014. The matter has been referred to the Cleveland Division of Police Internal Affairs Unit and the City of Cleveland’s Ethics Officer for thorough investigation.
"The City of Cleveland, Division of Police insists that officers provide the highest levels of professionalism and respect to all citizens. Discrimination of any kind will not be tolerated.
"The involved officer was hired by the Division of Police in 2018 and is currently assigned to administrative duties."
The term "administrative duties" means that Quran is not working in the public while the investigation unfolds.
The Jewish Federation of Cleveland told 3News Monday that they appreciate the quick action to reassign the officer in light of the situation.
"Antisemitism is not a new phenomenon — and the advent of social media created the perfect Petrie dish for its hateful rhetoric and tropes that leads to violence. We appreciate the Cleveland Police Department’s swift response to this situation, as well as all they do every day to keep Cleveland safe for all people.
"Education — when combined with an unwavering commitment from faith leaders, elected officials, and law enforcement to expose and address any sign of Jew hatred before it can metastasize — is the only proven cure for the disease of hate. At the appropriate time, we would be happy to bring any of our resources to bear to help this individual learn and grow from this situation."
Quran has yet to comment publicly since the allegations surfaced.
Cleveland Mayor Justin Bibb also released the following statement about the situation on Wednesday morning:
"It was recently brought to my attention that prior to being hired, a Cleveland Police officer posted inappropriate and hateful content on social media," said Mayor Bibb. "My administration is focused on raising standards for recruitment and training to attract a new generation of police officers and eliminate bias and racism in the ranks. This matter is currently under investigation by the Division of Police Internal Affairs Unit and the City’s Chief Ethics Officer."