CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson released a statement on Thursday regarding the ongoing criminal investigations involving his grandson Frank Q. Jackson, but his message appears to have been clipped compared to the original video put out by the city on Friday.
In his initial message, Jackson gave a choice to the public: Believe him or believe the extensive coverage from 19 News and other local media.
“You can choose to believe the media, or you can believe me,” is what Jackson appeared to say while denying involvement or interference into the investigation to determine criminal charges against his family members.
The city of Cleveland released the unedited version of Jackson’s statement on Friday after requests from 19 News.
"You can choose to the believe the media, who makes money off hype and who plays to the ignorance and manipulation of that ignorance for their bottom line, or you can choose to believe me. That is your choice,” Jackson said.
The two-part video message comes after his 22-year-old grandson is currently facing charges presented by the Cuyahoga County Prosecutor’s Office for allegedly assaulting an 18-year-old woman in June.
The mayor believes external oversight into past and present investigations surrounding his family members is not needed because he never interfered with the cases.
The city of Cleveland’s Law Department initially did not press charges against Frank Q. Jackson.
According to a city spokesperson, the Cuyahoga Metropolitan Housing Authority withheld evidence during the alleged attack. CMHA police denied those claims.
It was Cuyahoga County prosecutors who decided to indict the mayor’s grandson after 19 News reported the alleged assault.
The mayor’s grandson has since pleaded not guilty to the assault charges. Those proceedings are ongoing.
In an unrelated case, Cleveland police are continuing to investigate a homicide possible involving Frank Q. Jackson that occurred on the city’s West side.
The truck belonging to Frank Q. Jackson was towed away from the mayor’s house while police were on scene questioning any potential witnesses or suspects.
Multiple law enforcement sources tell 19 News that the mayor told detectives investigating the Clark Avenue homicide not to use their body cameras while at his house.
“I never told anybody to turn off their camera,” Jackson stated.
According to CPD policy, police officers are supposed to hit record before taking any police action. That includes talking to suspects, victims and witnesses during arrests and traffic stops. Officers are only supposed to turn off their body cameras when the incident is over, or a supervisor tells them to stop.
Sydney Saffold, the attorney representing the mayor’s grandson, previously said her client had “absolutely nothing to do” with the recent deadly shooting of 30-year-old Antonio Parra near the intersection of Clark Avenue and West 51st Street.