The family of Arthur Keith is demanding justice after a Cuyahoga County grand jury failed to return an indictment against the CMHA officer, James Griffiths, who shot and killed Keith. The police claim that Keith was shot after they approached a van, they suspected of being involved in a shooting and claim that Keith pulled a gun, but witness state that Keith was shot in the back as he ran away.
Soon after Attorney General Dave Yost announced that the officer who shot Keith “acted reasonably,” the Cochran Firm Attorney Stanley Jackson, Keith’s family, and local community leaders came together to call for further investigation. Attorney Jackson says he is distrustful of the process due to lack of transparency, including the fact that no video evidence has been released and that despite being provided with contact information of eyewitnesses, investigators did not question them, nor was their testimony presented to the grand jury.
“We believe a civil rights investigation would uncover irregularities in policing by CMHA, as well as the shooting of Arthur Keith,”
-Cochran Firm attorney Stanley Jackson
Arthur Keith was 19 years old when he was shot and killed last November outside of a public housing complex, which happened to be within view of the Boys & Girls Club during an after-school program. After an autopsy, it was reported that Keith died from a gunshot wound that entered his back torso and punctured his lung. Although Keith was unresponsive, the officers still proceeded to handcuff him.
Rita Keith, Keith’s mother, is demanding justice after the grand jury failed to bring charges against Griffiths, claiming that Keith should not have been shot.
“Where is justice? Is it just justice for police office, and they leave the family hanging out there? There was no reason to shoot this young man.”
Multiple other individuals have expressed their discontent with the situation at hand, including individuals from the King Kennedy Boys & Girls Club, Black Lives Matter Cleveland, and the Boys & Girls Clubs of Northeast Ohio. The President and CEO of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Northeast Ohio, Jeff Scott, released a statement following the grand jury’s decision:
“Young People like Arthur and communities like King Kennedy deserve better. Today, we are once again asking community leaders to work for the kind of sustainable change that we need. We work every day to keep our kids safe and on the right path, and one aspect of that is gauging their level of trust in law enforcement. Trust, as you must know, must be earned. This case certainly did not help build that trust, as those in charge appeared eager to keep us in the dark."
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