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More than six months after deadly police shooting, still no answers for family

Published: May. 26, 2021 at 6:45 PM EDT
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CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - Six months after a Cuyahoga Metropolitan Housing Authority police officer shot and killed 19-year-old Arthur Keith in Cleveland during a police call, there are still no answers for his family and the public.

19 Investigates continues to press for any video of the shooting, but so far we have not gotten any records back.

Here is a timeline of the case.

NOVEMBER 19, 2020:

The shooting happened on the CMHA property in the King Kennedy area of Cleveland near East 55th Street and Woodland Avenue.

CMHA Police said that officers approached a van suspected of being used in a shooting.

Arthur Keith was inside that van.

Police said he pulled a gun and officers opened fire.

They said Keith then collapsed.

But witnesses had a different account.

They said officers shot Keith in the back as he ran away.

Keith’s family and friends like Richard Starr didn’t believe police.

“He was scared, he was nervous, he jumped, he took off running-- he didn’t deserve to be shot,” Starr told 19 News.

DECEMBER 3, 2020

New information came out two weeks after the shooting.

Arthur Keith’s family attorney released the CMHA officer’s name.

He said James Griffiths shot Keith.

A witness told us his account of what happened.

“The Police officer who shot pointed inside the car and he opened up the passenger door and he said freeze, like freeze. Arthur tried to get out of the car, he tried to run and that’s when you heard five gun shots,” Zaizer Melton said.

The next day, 19 News requested security video of the shooting, if it exists, from Cleveland Police, who took over the case. Our request was denied, CPD said it was “part of the investigation.”

DECEMBER 9, 2020

The Cuyahoga County Prosecutor’s Office appointed a special prosecutor, handing the case over to the Ohio Attorney General’s Office. They said it is their policy “to eliminate any appearance of a conflict of interest.”

FEBRUARY 28, 2021

A painful milestone for Keith’s family.

They hold a balloon release on what would have been his 20th birthday.

MARCH 4, 2021

Nearly four months after Keith’s death, there is proof he was shot in the back that day by police.

The Cuyahoga County Medical Examiner’s Office released Keith’s autopsy report, citing transparency to the public.

MAY 22, 2021

Just days ago, Arthur Keith’s family protested outside the justice center in downtown Cleveland, pushing for answers they still don’t have.

WHAT’S NEXT

This case will go to a grand jury.

The Ohio Attorney General’s Office told 19 News that is their policy when they’re handling an officer-involved shooting.

They can’t comment on when that may happen.

We reached out to CMHA to find out the officer’s status, but we haven’t heard back.

Cleveland Police said they won’t release any more information while the case remains under investigation.

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