CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) -Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson is still refusing to talk to 19 News about his alleged interference with a murder investigation involving his grandson.
Thursday, he distributed a pre-produced, staged interview from inside his office. Friday afternoon, we got the unedited version of the video.
The most glaring thing we saw inside the unedited video was the mayor coaching the interviewer how to ask a question. Mayor Jackson said, “Ask bluntly bout it so I can.” The reporter replied, “No, no, that's good.” Mayor Jackson then said, “Because I want to be able to say it bluntly."
For more than two weeks, Mayor Jackson has avoided 19 News cameras when it comes to questions about his 22-year-old grandson, Frank Q Jackson. He was recently called a prime suspect by the county prosecutor in a murder investigation. He has not been formally charged.
In the edited interview posted on You Tube, the mayor denies any involvement in the investigation. He said, “The mayor did not tell anyone to turn off or turn on a camera.” That’s a question we’ve repeatedly tried to get the mayor to answer. So, if he didn’t tell police not to turn on their body cameras while interviewing his grandson, why isn’t the video being released? It’s a policy for officers to turn them on unless a supervisor tells them otherwise. So, where is it? We asked for it several times. All we received is body cam footage of Cleveland Police responding after the murder. We also got a video showing a burned out car believed to belong to his grandson.
Frank Q Jackson is also under investigation for allegedly assaulting his 18 year-old girlfriend back in June. Just last week, a grand jury decided to indict Jackson only after the city took some heat for deciding not to take the case. The city prosecutor’s office claims the CMHA Police Department withheld evidence surrounding the alleged attack which hindered their decision. CMHA denies that accusation.
Jackson will be back in court Monday. 19 News will continue to ask questions of the mayor that you deserve answers to.