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Cleveland Police Union Challenges Firing of Officer Who Killed an Unarmed Suspect

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Cleveland’s police union says it will fight today’s firing of a 21-year patrol veteran who shot an unarmed teenager to death nearly three years ago. 

The city says officer Alan Buford violated Cleveland’s use-of-force policywhen he shot 18-year-old Brandon Jones in the chest in March 2015.  Jones had broken into a grocery store, and was leaving when Buford and his partner approached. The partner testified at Buford’s trial last summer that he thought the shooting was unnecessary, but the judge acquitted Buford of negligent homicide charges.

The Cleveland Police Patrolmen’s Associationhas filed a grievance over the firing and plans to push it to arbitration. Outgoing President Steve Loomis calls the discipline “yet another unwarranted attack” by Cleveland on its police officers and says he’s convinced it’s motivated by a pending civil suit and by the city’s consent decree with the U.S. Department of Justice to overhaul training and discipline of officers.

Click herefor a copy of the termination letter.

M.L. Schultze is a freelance journalist. She spent 25 years at The Repository in Canton where she was managing editor for nearly a decade, then served as WKSU's news director and digital editor until her retirement.