CMHA police shooting video shows man in distress and a violent struggle before he's killed
Video of the June 2 shooting death of 42-year-old Demond Eskridge by Cuyahoga Metropolitan Housing Authority police shows a struggle between Eskridge and two CMHA officers, resulting in Eskridge’s death.
The officers were responding to a man throwing items off a balcony at CMHA-owned Union Square Apartments on East 98th Street. The officers go to apartment 703, knock and enter without waiting for an answer, identifying themselves once before entering the apartment.
The balcony sliding glass door is smashed. The apartment appears to have been ransacked. They announce themselves as police again once inside, and no one answers.
They find Eskridge inside, naked in the bathtub with the running water overflowing onto the floor. Eskridge gets out of the tub when he sees the first officer. Officials have not identified either officer.
“You got a problem? You got a problem?” Eskridge said as he walks toward the officer, and they start fighting.
During the short violent encounter, Eskridge appears to take one of the officer’s guns and nearly bites that officer’s finger off.
“He got my gun. he got my gun,” one of the officers said, while both are unable to restrain Eskridge.
Eskridge appears to fire at least one shot after being Tased, then it appears the gun falls out of his hand, and he’s shot twice, once from point blank range after falling onto the floor with one of the officers. Eskridge and that officer lay next to each other on the floor for several minutes until they put handcuffs on the motionless Eskridge.
He was pronounced dead at University Hospitals.
Cleveland police are investigating the shooting and another one involving a Maple Heights police officer on May 30 in Cleveland.
“These families deserve and we want a full, sound and thorough investigation,” Cleveland Public Safety Director Karrie Howard said in a Facebook video posted Thursday. “This is the commitment we've made in the past. This is the commitment that we stand on now.”
Howard said the city will release separately from CMHA body camera video of both the Maple Heights and CMHA shootings.
In a November consent decree progress report, the police monitor reviewed two Cleveland police investigations of earlier shootings by law enforcement.
The specific incidents were not identified, but according to that report: “The Monitoring Team classified the two force investigation team administrative investigations as ‘poor’ and not in compliance with the consent decree. Specifically, the monitoring team found that in both cases problematic investigative techniques were used and documentation in support of the investigation appeared to be biased in favor of the subject officers."
Howard said investigators will wait to release any information on the city’s investigation until after they’ve turned it over to prosecutors.