CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - Family and friends gathered Sunday to honor what would have been the 20th birthday of Arthur Keith.
Keith was shot and killed by a Cuyahoga Metropolitan Housing Authority (CMHA) police officer back on November 13th.
Keith’s uncle addressed his nephew and the crowd that gathered in the 2500 block of Bundy Drive in Cleveland near a tree where Keith was shot.
“Arthur, We’re here today to let you know your light force will always be remembered,” he said. “Happy Birthday.”
As balloons in Keith’s memory float up to the heavens, his family is forced to wait to find out if the officer involved in the shooting will be held responsible for his death or if he will be cleared in the shooting.
Police claim that the day of the shooting Keith was in a van that matched the description of a vehicle used in a previous shooting. Officers say when they asked him to step out of the van, he pulled a gun. Shots were fired by police. Keith’s family says he was shot in the back as he ran away.
But attorney Stanley Jackson says there’s a tragic irony surrounding Keith’s death and a program at the Boys’ and Girls’ Club he frequented. He says that’s where Keith previously met the officer who shot him.
“The irony is he actually knew officer Griffith who killed him. They met each other before in a program. And so part of the program is for kids to come together and tell and talk and share how they feel they’re being policed in the community,” Attorney Jackson of the Cochran Firm of Cleveland said.
However, even more egregious according to Attorney Jackson, the family has become increasingly frustrated by the failure of authorities to release the surveillance video that could answer questions about what happened when Keith was killed.
“We are all committed to making sure that CMHA is held accountable for the life that was taken, wrongfully taken in this community,” Jackson tells 19 News.
The probe into Keith’s death is ongoing by Cleveland Police detectives.