Cleveland’s 2019 police officer of the year will keep his award and job after a months-long investigation into his anti-Semitic social media postings concluded without any charges being filed.
Ismail Quran, who was the subject of a Cleveland police internal affairs unit investigation over "inappropriate social media content" that included praise for Adolf Hitler and the Hamas terrorist organization, will keep his job and not face any disciplinary consequences, according to information provided by the police department on Tuesday to the Washington Free Beacon.
"We are frustrated and disappointed that no charges can be filed against Officer Ismail Quran, despite extensive internal investigations by the Cleveland Division of Police (CDP), the City Prosecutor, and the Law Department," Mayor Justin M. Bibb and Chief of Police Wayne Drummond said in a joint statement. "Officer Quran’s hateful offenses were communicated years before he was hired, making it impossible to successfully enforce discipline."
Quran will not face any consequences and will keep his 2019 officer of the year award. Even though the investigation was closed with no punitive actions, Bibb and Drummond claimed in their statement that the city has "zero tolerance for hateful and dangerous rhetoric directed at our Jewish communities. This type of hate speech is a horrible example of explicit bias in our police force. We cannot emphasize strongly enough that discrimination of any kind, against anyone, simply will not be tolerated."
Jewish and pro-Israel community groups reacted with outrage to the decision, saying the city failed to combat anti-Semitic bias in its police force as violent crimes against Jews skyrocket across the country.
"The lack of any meaningful consequences for Quran sends a disturbing message—discrimination against Jews is tolerated and excused," the Simon Wiesenthal Center, Canary Mission, and StopAntisemitism.org said in a joint statement following the city’s decision. Each of the groups was instrumental in publicizing Quran’s anti-Semitic posts and alerting Cleveland city officials to them.
"While he is undoubtedly pleased that his anti-Semitism was dismissed on a ‘technicality,’ the Jewish community is left to wonder—would officer Quran still be employed if he had posted other forms of bigotry?" the groups said.
Quran has not issued a public apology for his tweets, which included a "salute to Hitler the great" and messages threatening violence against Jewish people. He also accused "the Jewish lobby" of running the United States and issued profanity-laden screeds against Jewish Twitter users.
Because the tweets were issued around 2014, before Quran was hired by the department in 2018, he was let off the hook, according to the Cleveland police department.
"This officer was hired in July 2018, prior to the implementation of key pre-employment, onboarding and training policies," the police department and mayor’s office said in their statement, adding that as a response to the situation, they are putting new regulations in place to review social media posts before an individual is hired.
Quran was only issued "a non-disciplinary letter of counseling" that was placed in his personnel file. "While these actions cannot undo the hurt and anger this officer’s behavior has caused our Jewish community, we hope that they illustrate how seriously we take this situation," the department and mayor’s office said.
The Jewish advocacy groups say this is not nearly enough to address the seriousness of Quran’s anti-Semitic leanings.
"Without action, words of condemnation surrounding antisemitism are meaningless and only green-lights further hatred against Jews," said Liora Rez, executive director of StopAntisemitism.org.
The advocacy groups are demanding "a full public apology from officer Quran," a guarantee the "Cleveland Division of Police will rescind all awards given to officer Quran," and a "statement of assurance by the Cleveland Division of Police that officer Quran does not present a risk and will not be biased against the Jewish community."
The organizations say they are primarily concerned the police department "has offered no assurance that officer Quran" will fairly police members of the Jewish community.