EAST CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - Members of the East Cleveland City Council were joined by the family of an 18-year who was shot and killed by police earlier in the week to provide remarks on the deadly officer-involved incident.
Vincent Belmonte was fatally shot by an East Cleveland police officer following the chase of a stolen car on Tuesday morning.
According to East Cleveland police, the pursuit started around 10:30 a.m. on Tuesday when officers started to go after the stolen vehicle.
Belmonte, who has been identified as the driver of the stolen car, hit several objects during the chase, which resulted in the car catching on fire.
Police said Belmonte and two others fled from the car into the neighborhood.
According to East Cleveland police, Belmonte was armed with a gun and officers fired an unknown amount of shots toward him, striking him several times.
EMS transported Belmonte to University Hospitals where he was pronounced dead from the gunshot injuries.
Ohio Attorney General’s Officer Bureau of Criminal Investigation is in charge of the case.
A community filled with anger and questions gathered on Friday to make their voice heard.
Community activist Mariah Crenshaw said, “Larry McDonald has no record of training since 2008. He has not been a police officer under Ohio law since 2008.”
Crenshaw is adamant and was brought to tears in her opposition to Ofc. McDonald and his role in the shooting death of
“When Larry Mc Donald shot Vincent Belmonte under Ohio law, he was impersonating a police officer. And I’m angry. And I said get these people off our streets. And now this child is dead, and what will you do. Will you vilify him? Will you say it was his faulty when you put guns in the hands of people who don’t have the training.”
Concerns have been raised about Sgt. McDonald before by East Cleveland Council Vice President Juanita Gowdy.
She got a pledge from the mayor that if McDonald were involved in an incident, he would be mandated to have his body-cam rolling.
That didn’t happen.
A local pastor said, ”We should not have to wonder how someone was shot and killed when an officer was wearing a bodycam.”
“No Justice, No Peace,” rang throughout the gathering.
That’s a familiar refrain heard all over for decades.
It still empowers the people to voice their grieves when they feel something has gone wrong.
In this case, dead wrong.
Crenshaw continued, “This community demands justice. We demand justice for the blood for the life that was taken. I watched the video. I saw that baby die.”
Belmonte’s stepmother Niki Duckworth said, “They called themselves the siblings because there are eight of them. Now there are seven. To sit and watch people degrade my family’s integrity with some of the sickest stuff I’ve ever seen in the name of the man who has been harassing the community since I was a child.”
“He’s not an angry urban child. He had a place to release his aggression. My children are devastated from the loss of their brother. His mother and my husband are devastated that they’ve loss their baby,” Duckworth said.