On April 9, 2020, Desmond Franklin was shot and killed by off-duty Cleveland police officer Jose Garcia.  The officer shot into Franklin’s vehicle as he rode beside him in his own vehicle. Garcia was neither in uniform nor driving a police vehicle.  Garcia claims that he saw Franklin (22) and another person (17) steal a box of soda from a truck. He also claims that Franklin threatened to shoot him, and in his 911 call told dispatch that he believed he was being shot at and possibly hit. Witness reports and a surveillance videos tell a different story and Franklin’s autopsy shows that he was hit in the right temple indicating that he was looking forward when he was shot by Garcia.  Garcia shot into the vehicle five times and hit the 17-year-old passenger whose condition was described as stable following the shooting.  Upon being shot Franklin’s vehicle crashed into the fence surrounding Riverside Cemetery on Pearl Road. The passenger had fled on foot but was later arrested.

“You just cannot take my son’s life and just walk away. What kind of justice system do we have if they allow that?”

-Emmanuel Franklin (Father)

Cochran Firm attorneys Shean Williams and Stanley Jackson have stated that the Ohio Attorney General’s office should take over the investigation that is currently being conducted by the Cuyahoga County Sherriff’s Office. The AG’s Bureau of Criminal Investigation can become involved if a prosecutor or local law enforcement make a request. As of April 9, 2019, BCI has not received a request to investigate the incident.

On the matter of Garcia believing that Franklin and his passenger had stolen a box of soda Cochran Firm attorney Shean Williams said:

“Even assuming that is true, there was no burglary occurring at the time or anything occurring at the time that would justify taking somebody’s life.”

Jose Garcia has been placed on administrative leave following the shooting.