I-Team: New video shows chaos on Public Square long before shooting

CLEVELAND (WJW) — New video released to the Fox 8 I-Team shows, for the first time, violence and chaos in Downtown Cleveland long before shots were fired at the Christmas tree lighting festival.

The new video reveals the untold story of trouble on Public Square the night of the festival. Back in November, after the tree lighting, gunfire in the crowd left two teens hurt.

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Now, video captured by Cleveland cameras has been released to the I-Team.

In the video, you can see fighting on Public Square turn into a brawl with a crowd watching. You can also see more fighting and panic before the shooting.

That led the I-Team to ask what will be done to protect families at future big events.

The I-Team took a closer look after what was seen in a Cleveland Police report. An officer wrote, “Officers attempted to clear the mall and Square for several hours while fights broke out.”

After reviewing the new video, the I-Team took questions to Cleveland Police.

Sergeant Freddy Diaz said, “Every incident is reviewed.”

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The I-Team asked if Cleveland Police had enough officers there that night. There were fights and we saw crowds scatter when one or two officers walked up.

Police said they’ve been reviewing everything to help plan for other big events.

Sgt. Diaz added, “I think it’s a responsible thing to do, to review. And, if there’s any adjustments that need to be made, we make them, accordingly.”

Just after the trouble at the tree lighting, a mother spoke to the I-Team about her family and others running for cover.

She said, “We definitely are going to think twice about going to big events with lots of crowds in Cleveland. It was very scary. It was terrifying.”

Another mother called 9-1-1 to report her daughter had been attacked. She reported, “My daughter was just downtown seeing the lights and she got jumped by a group of kids and they stole her purse.”

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A 15-year-old has been locked up facing charges for the Public Square shooting. Juvenile court said the teen has been asking to get back on Cleveland streets. Accound to juvenile court, he has been asking to be released while waiting for trial. The Court has said, ‘No.’

The teen is pleading not guilty, and records show he plans to claim self-defense.
Police are not getting into specifics about any changes they may make for security for the next big event.

The new video reveals a new look at how a family event spiraled out of control.

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