Family: Autopsy shows that Arthur Keith was shot in the back by CMHA police

Family: Autopsy shows that Arthur Keith was shot in the back by CMHA police

CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - The family of Arthur Keith spoke out after receiving the autopsy report conducted following the 19-year-old’s shooting death by Cuyahoga Metropolitan Housing Authority Police Officer James Griffin.

Family: Autopsy shows that Arthur Keith was shot in the back by CMHA police

Family: Autopsy shows that Arthur Keith was shot in the back by CMHA police https://bit.ly/3kRURsT

Posted by Cleveland 19 News on Thursday, March 4, 2021

Investigators said CMHA officers approached a van in the parking lot of the King Kennedy housing complex in November 2020 because it matched the description of a vehicle previously used in a shooting.

Police claimed officers asked Keith to step out of the vehicle. He then allegedly pulled a gun and pointed it at police, prompting Officer Griffin, a white man, to fire at Keith.

Keith was pronounced dead at Metrohealth Medical Center on Nov. 13, 2020.

Keith’s family said an autopsy released on Thursday by the Cuyahoga County Medical Examiner’s Office shows that he was shot in the back by police, contrary to what CMHA has reported.

The report defines Keith’s cause of death as: “Gunshot wound of trunk with visceral, vascular, skeletal, and soft tissue injuries. HOMICIDE.”

Excerpt from autopsy
Excerpt from autopsy (Source: Cuyahoga County Medical Examiner's Office)

Stanley Jackson, the attorney for Keith’s family, said the autopsy report supports their initial claim that he was shot in the back, but he alleged that the narrative laid out by the medical examiner and CMHA of “legal intervention” contradicts what witnesses described.

“At this moment, we are disappointed with how the process is going,” Jackson said.

“In light of the recent publication of a description of certain parts of the autopsy of Mr. Keith which were incomplete and to bring transparency and clarity to an issue of community importance, we are releasing this Office’s death investigation report in this case.”
Cuyahoga County Medical Examiner's Office

Jackson said he reached out to investigators to see if a firearm was found at the scene like CMHA reported, but he has not received any confirmation of Keith being in possession of a gun.

Video surveillance camera of the incident has not yet been released, despite requests from Keith’s family.

The investigation is ongoing under oversight from the Ohio Attorney General’s Office.

This story will be updated.

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