CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - The mother of a murder victim filed a civil action lawsuit against Mayor Frank Jackson and Chief of Police Calvin Williams alleging a coverup in crimes linked to the mayor’s family.
The lawsuit filed by the mother of Antonio Parra on Thursday with the Cuyahoga County Court of Common Pleas claims that the mayor and Chief Williams knowingly covered up gang-related crimes allegedly involving Jackson’s grandson and his great-grandson.
Those accusations directly led to the 30-year-old Warrensville Heights man’s murder, according to the lawsuit from the victim’s mother, Andrea Parra.
“Andrea Parra has every reason to believe that her son would be alive today if it weren’t for the mayor’s efforts to cover up for his grandsons’ crimes,” said attorney Peter Pattakos.
A wrongful death claim against Mayor Jackson is also alleged in the lawsuit.
Parra, the father of a 9-year-old daughter, was shot to death on Clark Avenue on the city’s West Side in August.
Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Michael O’Malley previously told 19 News that the mayor’s grandson, Frank Q. Jackson, is a “prime suspect” in the homicide investigation. Jackson’s legal representative denied any involvement.
The attorneys for Andrea Parra said two men fled from the West Side murder scene in a Volkswagen Passat registered to the mayor’s grandson.
19 News crews were at Mayor Jackson’s house when investigators recovered a pickup truck from his driveway that same night in connection to Parra’s murder, but not the Volkswagen.
A Volkswagen believed to have been the one registered to Jackson was found torched behind a building on Holton Avenue on the city’s East side.
A person of interest was taken into the custody of Cleveland during questioning at the mayor’s house, but he was later released.
None of Jackson’s family members were arrested that night, and according to the attorney for Parra’s family, they weren’t properly questioned or examined for evidence following the mayor’s instruction.
The lawsuit also details a June 2019 incident involving Frank Q. Jackson and an 18-year-old woman. The victim and witnesses told investigators that Jackson repeatedly hit her and dragged her by her hair through the grass.
Attorneys claim that, despite accounts from witnesses and surveillance video in the area, Mayor Jackson persuaded the city of Cleveland’s prosecutor to cover up the crime.
The legal team for Frank Q. Jackson claims that he is innocent. His attorney actually referred to Jackson as the “victim” in the alleged assault.
Frank Q. Jackson was not criminally charged in assault case until the Cuyahoga County Prosecutor’s Office took over the investigation, while the city’s law department claimed that investigators with the Cuyahoga Metropolitan Housing Authority withheld evidence that could have prompted criminal charges. CMHA police denied those claims.
The lawsuit alleges that the city prosecutor’s decision not to prosecute Frank Q. Jackson would not have been made without the mayor’s knowledge.
Read the claims filed in the lawsuit, which cites numerous 19 News investigations:
According to the lawsuit, Mayor Jackson also used his influence of public office to obstruct the investigation involving his great-grandson.
The mayor’s 16-year-old great-grandson has a history of past criminal charges.
In September, Cleveland police say he participated in criminal gang activity between December 2018 and July 2019. He is currently in juvenile detention for allegedly shooting from a stolen car at Cleveland police officers in the area of East 86th Street and Quincy Avenue.
“Mayor Jackson was elected by citizens who entrusted him with the responsibility to enforce the laws in Cleveland," Pattakos added. "It was especially important that he fulfill this sworn duty with respect to criminal activity by his own family members, but he did the opposite, abusing his influence to foster a culture of impunity that only emboldened his grandsons and their affiliates to commit increasingly violent crimes.
Both the mayor’s grandson and great-grandson are alleged to have roles in the “No Limit 700” gang, according to the lawsuit. The organization is believed to be responsible for numerous violent crimes in the Cleveland area.
Mayor Jackson knew of his grandson and great-grandson’s alleged involvement in the gang activity at the time of the crimes, Parra’s attorneys allege.
The Cleveland Division of Police and Mayor Jackson’s office both told 19 News that they are not commenting on the lawsuit at this time.
This story will be updated.