DOWNTOWN CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) - Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson's grandson, Frank Jackson III, was recently pulled over for letting someone ride in the open bed of his pickup truck. Police found an unloaded gun in the truck, and one of Jackson's passengers had an arrest warrant out for him on an attempted murder charge.
When confronted by Cleveland 19 investigative reporter Carl Monday, Mayor Jackson responded: "If many of the kids have guns, and young men have guns, they are going to have friends who have guns."
Was that too casual of an answer or the reality on the streets of Cleveland?
And as the leader of Cleveland, was that enough for the mayor to say about his grandson or other youths hanging around friends who may have guns?
"This is not about his grandson. This is about the answer that he gave," said Councilman Zack Reed, an outspoken critic of the mayor.
Reed, a potential mayoral candidate, says the mayor's comment didn't go far enough.
"How do we work with our young people to ensure that they understand that they should not be walking around with guns? And as the leader of our city that should be the answer that we should be bringing out. Not that we should be just getting used to this, that we should be resigned to the fact that, it is what it is," said Reed.
The mayor and City Council have tried under Home Rule to implement some gun restrictions, but the state legislature and Gov. John Kasich stopped them.
"This is reality. I live in reality," the mayor said. "My grandson lives in reality and I will guarantee you that I could take you from here and take you out on the streets of the city of Cleveland and find another grandfather just like me, who struggles and who talks to their kids about what they should do and what they should not do."
The mayor says his grandson doesn't have a gun, doesn't do drugs, and doesn't steal because he talks to him about what is right and what is wrong.