EUCLID, OH (WOIO) - The Euclid police officer accused in the shooting death 23-year-old Luke Stewart is back on the job and the family of the victim is not happy about it.
A press conference with the family members, attorneys, representative of the Cleveland Branch of the NAACP, Black Lives Matter Cleveland and others, took place on Monday afternoon. They addressed their reaction Officer Rhodes returning to patrol, the lack of response by the authorities and concerns that another young African American male was shot by a white police officer.
The conference also touched on the next steps in the search for answers, and to ensure the investigation is unbiased and thorough.
On March 13 officers responded to a report of a suspicious vehicle parked on South Lakeshore, near East 215th Street, around 7 a.m. Police said Luke Stewart was shot after he tried to run officers over with his vehicle.
Officer Matthew Rhodes had been on paid administrative leave since the incident.
"Three weeks ago our lives changed and in three days Officer Rhodes went back to work," said Luke Stewart's cousin Jocelyn Smith. "I can't understand. They say Luke was a suspect. Suspect of what? He was sitting in a car. When my family went to the police station to ask questions, they never answered."
A look at Rhodes' personnel file revealed letters of commendation, letters saying job well done, and documents about his training.
Luke Stewart's family says they live in fear of police.
"It makes no sense at all. I live in Euclid. I don't even want to go home at night for fear something is going to happen to me," said his brother Cleander Stewart. "It makes no sense. I don't understand the laws anymore. This is crazy."