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Woman accuses plain-clothes Cincinnati Police officers of abusing authority

OVER-THE-RHINE, Ohio (WKRC) - Cincinnati Police are investigating two of their own after a woman accused them of harassing her and abusing their power.

Every morning, Ke'Asia Pendleton gets up early to take her 8-year-old boy to school. She started her car and went back inside while it warmed up, leaving her door slightly ajar. But on this morning, she says two men began opening her apartment door.

"As I see him pushing open my door,” Pendleton recounts. “They ask me like, 'Is this your car?' And I asked him, 'Do I know you?' And he asked me again, 'Is this your car?' So I get up and I shut my door and I lock it."

Pendleton says she then heard her car shut off. So, she went back outside, saw her keys were missing and called 911.

Pendleton: They literally tried to push open my front door while my kids were in there, and then as I closed my door, he reached into my car and took my car keys.

911: OK, did they say they were Cincinnati Police, or what did they say?

Pendleton: They haven't said anything about no police -- no they did not.

As Pendleton described to the 911 operator what happened, the incident took another turn.

"They're trying to come down this way,” Pendleton told Local 12, pointing down the alley. “And I'm still standing here because they have my car keys. They keep coming down and they bump me!”

Pendleton: He trying to hit me with his car -- HEY!

911: He's trying to hit you with his car?

Pendleton: Yes, yes.

Dispatch began to send a patrol car to the scene when another officer interrupted on the radio, saying he and his partner were the ones who had been there.

Here’s how it sounded on the police scanner:

"That's us. We were called out on that. We're not with her now. She's just not happy," said an officer.

"OK perfect," replied the dispatcher.

Pendleton says the plain-clothes officers then came back and handed her her keys. She captured the moment on her phone as she was still talking to the 911 operator.

Pendleton: I just recorded him giving me my keys and laughing. He bumped me with his car and everything. I want something done now!

We suggested to Pendleton perhaps the police were just trying to help her out by letting her know that it’s not a good idea to leave her car running.

"No, not at all,” said Pendleton. “Because if you were here to help me, as the police or anyone working for the City of Cincinnati, you would have been more professional. You took the keys out of my car. I did not take the keys out of your vehicle!”

CPD says it has begun an internal investigation but will not comment beyond that regarding an ongoing investigation. Pendleton is now contacting the Citizen's Complaint Authority and says she may hire an attorney. More than anything, she says she wants an apology.

It is not against the law in Cincinnati to leave your car running unattended as long as you are in a private lot. In this case, Pendleton's car was in a private lot.


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