Family Of Police Shooting Victim Call For Outside Investigators
The family of Arthur Keith, the 19-year-old man killed by housing authority police in Cleveland a week ago, is asking for an outside agency to conduct an investigation of the shooting.
Keith’s aunt, Matricia Givner, criticized the way Cleveland Division of Police have been handling the investigation into the Nov.13 death at the King Kennedy public housing complex at a press conference outside Cuyahoga Metropolitan Housing Authority’s police headquarters Friday.
“If it happened to someone else, they would be out there talking to the parents and the children to show them the police are here to help protect,” Givner said. “They’re not doing this here. And I want to know why. Why are they not doing that? Why are they not talking to our family?”
The family’s attorney, Stanley Jackson from the Cleveland office of the Cochran Law Firm, said there are 10 eyewitnesses who say Keith was shot in the back while running away.
“We will be unrelenting in our investigation,” Jackson said. “We ask anyone who may have information or video of this particular situation to call our office.”
According to a statement provided by Cleveland police shortly after the shooting, based on its preliminary investigation, CMHA police approached the van because they suspected the vehicle had been used in a shooting a day earlier.
According to the statement, a CMHA officer ordered Keith out of the van and he pointed a gun at the officer.
“Shots were fired by the officer and the suspect male fled. After a short time, he collapsed. Officers then secured a firearm from the suspect,” according to the initial report.
So far, the family’s investigators have not seen any video of the incident, including from CMHA cameras in the area that may have captured it, and are relying on eyewitness accounts.
“We do know from witnesses that were there, that were within arm’s length, that saw it happen, that Mr. Keith exited the vehicle and attempted to run away,” Jackson said. “He did not brandish a gun. They were close enough to see if he had brandished a weapon.”
The Cuyahoga County Prosecutor’s office has requested a special prosecutor to consider bringing charges.
The Cleveland Division of Police did not provide ideastream with details on the status of its investigation.