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Cleveland Police Officer Under Investigation Over Antisemitism

A Cleveland police officer, Ismail Quran, who was named the department’s 2019 Officer of the Year and received a distinguished service medal is causing outrage for antisemitic posts on his social media accounts. Cleveland Sgt. Jennifer Ciaccia, senior public information officer for the Cleveland Division of Police, said June 17 that the matter was being investigated. “The Division of Police is aware of this matter and it has been referred to the internal affairs unit for investigation,” Ciaccia wrote in an email to the Cleveland Jewish News.

The CJN reached out to Quran by Facebook and text message June 17th and did not receive an immediate response.

Antisemitic and anti-Zionist posts traced to Quran’s social media accounts were identified by Canary Mission and publicized in a June 16th news release from the organization.

Quran, who was hired as a Cleveland police officer in 2018, posted a tweet in 2014 under the handle iSH NYC, @ish_1988, reading “F*** that Jew” July 14, 2014 and included an image of Adolf Hitler with the caption reading, “Let me salute to Hitler the Great. He said ‘I would have killed all the Jews in the world, but I kept some around to show why I killed them,’” according to Quran’s archived tweet.

That tweet was live as of the morning of June 17. By 3:30 p.m., the tweets were made private and disabled shortly thereafter.

Liora Rez, founder and executive director of stopantisemitism.org, told the CJN June 17 that her organization planned to feature Quran as her organization’s “Antisemite of the Week” beginning June 19 and tweeted examples of Quran’s various antisemitic posts.

“Imagine what he would do if he had a Jewish citizen he had an interaction with?” Rez said. “… The fact that, you know, a bigot or racist was presented with an award two years ago, and if you had substituted any other minority besides a Jew, this guy would have been out on his butt in .2 seconds.”

The tweet from Quran’s account July 14, 2014 glorifying Hitler was in reply to another Twitter user, NBA player Patrick Beverley, who referred to Jewish former professional basketball player Omri Casspi in a tweet.

Also on July 14, 2014, according to Canary Mission, Quran tweeted: “Actually received a lot of support on that Hitler pic I posted on IG! Lol again it’s for the Zionists, not Jews. There is a difference.”

Canary Mission documents people and groups that “promote hatred of the USA, Israel and Jews,” according to its website. It investigates “hatred across the North American political spectrum, including the far-right, far-left and anti-Israel activists.” It keeps the names of its activists compiling the lists secret, does not disclose any funding information and has been investigated by Tablet Magazine and The Forward, which both described the group as “shadowy.”

Quran’s posts, which include anti-Israel and Jewish conspiracy theories, date from 2011 to 2015.

As of 2017, he was a member of a closed Facebook group honoring Osama bin Laden, according to Canary Mission.

“It is a cause for genuine concern that the Cleveland Police Department is employing an officer with a record of antisemitic hate speech,” Canary Mission’s statement reads. “We were further shocked and dismayed to discover that the Cleveland Police Department honored Quran despite his many years of disseminating truly vile antisemitic content on social media. We urge swift action by Mayor Justin Bibb, Interim Chief of Police Dornat Drummond, and the Cleveland Community Police Commission to remove such a dangerous antisemite from his duty.”

Canary Mission said Quran began work at the Cleveland Police Department July 2, 2018 and was assigned to its third district. He was honored Nov. 4, 2021, as both 2019 officer of the year and with the distinguished service medal.

“Officer Quran has been instrumental in a large number of potential volatile situations where language barriers were present,” the announcer said at the 2021 ceremony. “And not only was he able to interpret, Officer Quran’s knowledge of the culture help de-escalate the tensions on both sides of these disputes. He has successfully calmed hostile and violent individuals, mediated landlord tenant disputes, and even assisted a family with finding and keeping temporary housing. Officer Quran is a gifted communicator, bringing calm understanding to situations when he responds. Officer Ismail Quran has truly embodied the community policing philosophy.”

Quran graduated from Cleveland State University in 2010, according to his LinkedIn page. He studied criminology there and was a member of the Muslim Student Association.

Canary Mission identified his name on Facebook as Ish Ismail and his handle on Twitter as @ish_1988 as of June 2022.

One May 9, 2014 tweet from Quran responded to Lara Kollab, who was fired from her job as an intern at Cleveland Clinic in 2018 based on revelations made by Canary Mission about her previous antisemitic social media posts. Kollab surrendered her certificate to practice osteopathic medicine and surgery to the Ohio Medical Board July 22, 2020 and agreed to permanent revocation of her license.

Quran’s tweet to Kollab read, “@ellekay_ who bothering ya!!!! Let me at em! Lol if it’s a Jew give me their @ and I’ll do it,” according to Canary Mission.

Rocky River lawyer Ziad Tayeh, who represented Kollab, said he has not had contact with Quran and does not know him. Tayeh is also the former president of the Islamic Center of Cleveland and has no affiliation with that organization currently. “All of this is really, really, really unfortunate, obviously,” he told the CJN June 17.