CLEVELAND (CBSNewYork) — The Cleveland Police Patrolmen’s Association threatened to keep officers from working Cleveland Browns games after running back Isaiah Crowell posted a photo on Instagram showing a cop’s throat getting slit.
Stephen Loomis, president of the Cleveland Police Patrolmen’s Association, initially told TMZ Sports he would pull officers from home games if Crowell didn’t donate money to the families of the fallen Dallas officers.
“I will pull Cleveland officers, sheriffs, state troopers out of First Energy Stadium this season if he doesn’t make it right,” Loomis explained to TMZ Sports.
In a video he posted on his Facebook page, Crowell, 23, said he will donate his first game check to the Dallas Fallen Officer Foundation.
“By posting that picture I became a part of that problem. I don’t want to be part of the problem, I want to be part of the solution,” Crowell said. “And to back that up, my first game check is going to the Dallas Fallen Officer Foundation.”
Crowell said he was “frustrated and upset about what’s going on in our country” and that he immediately took down the photo from his Instagram.
“Nobody had to tell me to take it down – not my PR, agent of the Browns had to tell me to take it down because I knew I was wrong. I’m sorry and I hope you will understand that is not who I am,” Crowell said. “I’m sorry to all the Browns fans, all the people who support my career and all the kids out there who look up to me, and most of all, all the good police officers who are out there protecting us every day.”
The image he posted on Instagram showed blood gushing out of the officer’s neck while a man dressed in all black is holding a knife.
“Mood: They give polices all types of weapons and they continuously choose to kill us…(hashtag)Weak,” the caption read.
Cleveland.com reported the image went up after two black men – Philando Castile in Falcon Heights, Minnesota, and Alton Sterling in Baton Rouge, Louisiana – were fatally shot by police, but before five police officers were killed in Dallas last Thursday.
Crowell also called Cleveland Police Chief Calvin Williams and apologized to him for the photo.
In an interview with CBS Cleveland’s 92.3 The Fan on Wednesday, Loomis said he has accepted Crowell’s apology.
“I hope he’s true to his word and I look forward to the possibility of working with him,” Loomis said.
Loomis stated it would not have been that hard to pull officers from the games.
“The people of Northeast Ohio have supported the Cleveland Browns unconditionally, unconditional love, for decades, as long as I’ve lived here, without a huge return and we expect that type of support from the Browns and if they weren’t willing to do that then we absolutely would be willing to pull the Cleveland police officers, the county sheriffs and it would not have been very difficult to do given the world that we’re living in right now. To be honest with you, police officers are tired of getting their teeth kicked in for doing their jobs and being victims of the false narrative that’s out there,” Loomis told The Fan.
Loomis also slammed President Barack Obama talking about the issues facing African-Americans and police officers during a memorial service Tuesday for the five Dallas officers killed.
“So the point is that the false narrative that we’re listening too, the false narrative that the president of the United States put out the other day absolutely appalling, talking about those types of issues at the wake of five police officers that were murdered. Are you kidding me? That could not divide this country more and you’re seeing that now,” Loomis said.
Loomis continued, “Are there issues in the communities? Listen, African-Americans have more contact with police because we’re called to their neighborhoods on a more frequent basis, that’s a fact, and I’m not calling anybody names, I’m not saying that it’s right or wrong, but that is the fact. Police officers are called to the neighborhoods. Black-on-black crime is through the roof, across the country, those are issues that are deep-seeded and those are issues that need to be identified and addressed.”
Despite a torrent of criticism and calls for the Browns to cut ties with Crowell, the organization currently has no plans to do so, according to Cleveland.com.
“We have spoken to Isaiah regarding his extremely disturbing and unacceptable social media decision,” the Browns said in a statement to Cleveland.com. “It was completely inappropriate and we have made him aware of our high level of disappointment. Isaiah has apologized but also knows that just an apology is insufficient and that he must take steps to make a positive difference after a very negative and impactful post.”
The third-year running back led the Browns in rushing last season with 706 yards. Crowell rushed for 1,313 yards and 12 touchdowns his first two seasons.