Ethics Complaint against Ohio Arbitrator Michael B. Goldberg in head-kicking cop case

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In April of 2017, Columbus, OH, police responded to a report of shots being fired and apprehended Demarco Anderson fleeing the scene. Videos show that Anderson was on his stomach on the street, being restrained by a police officer who was cuffing him, when Officer Zachery Rosen rushed up and stomped on Anderson's head, slamming his face to the pavement, then placing his knee on the back of Anderson's neck and using his full weight to hold him down. Both assaults were unprovoked and unnecessary, and could have resulted in grievous bodily harm to the restrained Anderson.

Despite the adjudication by four department supervisors that Rosen's use of force was within police policy, Deputy Chief Thomas Quinlan found otherwise, deeming Rosen's actions to be "unreasonable." Columbus Public Safety Director, Deputy Chief Thomas Quinlan, acting on Quinlan's findings, fired Rosen. 

HOWEVER, as the Associated Press reports, Ohio arbitrator Mitchell P. Goldberg responded to that termination by filing a 28-page report ( that reinstated the "kicking cop" to his position on the police force, stating that "firing was too severe" and a three-day suspension was sufficient.

Most outrageous in Goldberg's arbitration report is the following, reported by the Associated Press: Regardless of whether Anderson’s “neck bounced off the pavement because the boot made contact with his face, neck or head, or whether the severe collision was caused entirely by the force of the blow to the upper body shoulder area, the level of force delivered was severe"... yet despite that finding, he stated there was "no evidence he (Rosen) was trying to injure the suspect."

The physics of the human body + force applied indicate that no one kicks a man's head to the street, then places his full body weight on the back of that man's neck, if he is NOT trying to injure that person. Any dismissal of that intent defies logic.

Particularly given that Officer Rosen was investigated (albeit cleared) in another case in which race was considered a factor; given the general and ongoing clashes and conflicts between police and persons of color; given the many recurring cases of deadly police overreaction, profiling, and assault, it is evermore critical that fairness, logic, integrity and color-blind justice be applied in every case, particularly those involving race. When arbitrators intervene to protect officers that even their own superiors believe have acted egregiously, they are not acting in the best interests of the community and its citizens of all races. 

WE believe arbitrator Mitchell P. Goldberg's judgment in this case shows a lack of logic, fairness, and open-mindedness and we are submitting this petition to ask that he be removed from arbitrating further cases. We also request that previous cases in which he was involved as arbitrator be reviewed for racial animus and bias, as well as determine if he is still competent to practice law.

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