Following a grand jury to not return an indictment for the April 2020 shooting of Desmond Franklin by off duty police officer Jose Garcia, the family of Mr. Franklin and their attorneys held a press conference to talk about their next steps in hopes of finding justice for Desmond.

“We’re so overwhelmed with pain and hurting from the decision of the jury. Desmond was just 22 years old. A family of four, and it’s just so sad that his kids will not see him no more. He was a very well-loved young man, and it’s just so sad that we had to lose him in that way by someone who felt that they had the power to do so. I want you all to know that Desmond was a very good young man, despite what people are saying about him. He was funny, he was loving, and he really cared a lot for his children. His brothers and sisters that sit here with me right now have been so emotional and so distraught that it just feels like a boulder is on my shoulders because we haven’t got justice for the murder of my son. He is still free, and Desmond did not deserve that. I’m just lost at words with this outcome. I try my best to keep my head up and keep my son’s memory alive, but it’s hard day and night. Some nights I can’t sleep because I miss him so much. His family misses him. His children miss him. He should still be here with us; but at the hands of Jose Garcia on April 9 was just horrifying because that didn’t have to happen.”

-Emmanuel Franklin (Father)

The Cochran Firm vows to continue investigation

The grand jury decided that officer Garcia had acted in self defense despite witnesses and surveillance video suggesting otherwise. As described earlier, Garcia was off duty, in civilian clothes, and in a civilian vehicle when he fired 5 times into Desmond’s vehicle, hitting him in the temple and grazing the 17-year-old passenger in Desmond’s vehicle. Cochran Firm attorney Stanley Jackson has vowed to continue the investigation and vehemently disagrees with the grand jury’s decision.

Cochran Firm attorney Stanley Jackson has vowed to continue the investigation and vehemently disagrees with the grand jury’s decision.

“We do not agree with the findings of the grand jury. We believe that there was evidence that was not presented correctly, and there was evidence that was not presented at that grand jury that would’ve assisted the grand jury in making a decision to charge Jose Garcia with murder. We are very concerned about that. We believe that is probably the reason that Jose Garcia was not charged. This family is very disappointed. They’ve lost their loved one. We lost a member of our community on April 9.”

-Cochran Firm Attorney Stanley Jackson

Witnesses could not corroborate officer's account

Stanley outlined 5 facts that he feels should have been considered by the grand jury in their decision. During the incident in which Garcia fired five times from his moving vehicle into Franklin’s vehicle Franklin did not fire a shot or brandish a gun.  His passenger did not brandish a gun.  No shots were fired from Franklin’s vehicle and surveillance video shows Garcia firing into Franklin’s vehicle.

Witnesses could not corroborate Garcia’s claims that Franklin pointed a gun towards him. As such, the AG’s office relied on largely circumstantial evidence when considering that account.  Because Garcia was off duty when he shot and killed Desmond the investigation was treated as it would for any private citizen.  Garcia has been placed on restricted duty for the past 10 months while the city has performed an administrative review.

Read more coverage from WKYC here.