Cleveland cops seize, haul off basketball hoop

This seems excessive.

Only 19 Action News had their cameras rolling as Cleveland Police hauled away a portable basketball hoop as evidence — actually, they dragged it away.

That hoop had been in front of a house on Mayview Road on Cleveland’s near west side.

Cheri Fiorilli bought the hoop for the neighbor boys because they help her out.

But in Cleveland, you can’t play basketball in the street. That led to police hauling away the hoop, and Fiorilli getting a ticket.

Cell phone video shows she asked if there could be a warning. An officer answered, “There’s nothing I can do.”

She offered to move it immediately, and she was told there’s no leeway.

Fiorilli and the kids were left stunned, and video shows an officer grew impatient with her.

“I need to see your driver’s license again. If not, I have to arrest you for refusing to comply,” said the officer.

But did it have to go like this? We called the Chief’s office. By email, a spokesperson said the kids had been warned many times.

Fiorilli got a ticket since she declared herself the owner.

Among cities with a population of less than 500,000, Cleveland is the fourth most dangerous in America. Here’s the video:

Radley Balko blogs about criminal justice, the drug war and civil liberties for The Washington Post. He is the author of the book "Rise of the Warrior Cop: The Militarization of America's Police Forces."
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Radley Balko · May 14