More than six months after 19-year-old man shot and killed by CMHA police officer, where is the video?
CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - 19 Investigates continues to ask for surveillance video, more than six months after a Cuyahoga Metropolitan Housing Authority officer shot and killed 19-year-old Arthur Keith in Cleveland during a police call.
That video could give us a clearer picture of what happened that November day, on the CMHA property in the King Kennedy area of Cleveland.
“We have a situation where there was a police report that said one thing, and of course the autopsy showed another. Then we also have a video, that still up until this moment is part of a lawsuit that they’re not releasing. I mean if the video is going to exonerate this officer, it should have been released,” said Stanley Jackson with The Cochran Firm Cleveland.
Jackson is Arthur Keith’s family attorney.
He’s talking about two different stories of Keith’s death.
CMHA police said officers approached a van suspected of being used in a shooting.
Arthur Keith was inside and they said he pulled a gun and police opened fire.
Keith ran away and collapsed, according to police.
But witnesses said officers shot Keith in the back as he ran away.
And the autopsy shows he was shot in the back.
Cleveland Police took over the case shortly after the shooting.
Jackson said the video wasn’t transferred to them properly.
“Which brings into question, what happened? What was being done to that video? Was it being compromised? Was it erased in between the time that the incident happened, two weeks before it even made it to the Cleveland Police?” Jackson said.
Jackson said it’s the right thing to do to release the video.
He said the officer involved is now on administrative leave.
Jackson and Keith’s family are concerned about organizations like the housing authority policing themselves.
They believe the agency should be regionally supervised and want review boards set up for police use of force cases like this.
“Once again these small police departments that are self-governing and not accountable to any hierarchy is a problem. And so CMHA is just another example of the lack of standards that these organizations seem to operate,” Jackson said.
Jackson doesn’t have much faith in the outside investigation going on right now.
He said they have not interviewed witnesses to Keith’s death.
Meanwhile, Keith’s family continues to struggle.
“When you lose someone in this manner, to excessive force, it’s traumatizing in itself right. But then you re-live it when you don’t get the information that you need,” he said.
19 Investigates continues to press for any video of the shooting, but we haven’t had any luck.
And we’re not alone.
Ideastream filed lawsuits against CMHA and the city of Cleveland.
19 News is also looking at legal options and working with attorneys who support our first amendment right to the video.
We reached out to CMHA, asking again for a copy of the surveillance video and for a response about this case.
We have not heard back from them.
The Ohio Attorney General’s Office is handling the case now.
It will go to a grand jury next, which is policy when they’re handling an officer-involved shooting.
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