Family of man shot during police struggle still searching for answers
CLEVELAND – Attorneys representing the family of Brandon Jones, an 18-year-old shot and killed by police in March, after he allegedly burglarized a closed convenience store in the middle of the night, are asking police for some answers.
Attorneys Paul Cristallo, Christine LaSavia and Anthony Jordan are representing Jones’ family.
“It has been 25 days since Brandon’s death and the family is still waiting for answers,” Cristallo said. “Brandon’s parents, Tanya and Clarence, deserve to know what happened. They deserve to know why this Cleveland police officer shot and killed Brandon when the evidence currently known indicates Brandon should have been simply handcuffed and taken into custody.”
The family is planning a press conference for 10:30 Monday. Attorneys say the family is considering filing a lawsuit.
The attorneys say a witness saw two police officers grab Brandon Jones as soon as he left the store.
“One of these Cleveland police officers not only had his gun in his hand during this time, he had his finger on the trigger,” Cristallo said. “Inexplicably, the officer pulled the trigger of his gun and shot Brandon.”
But Cleveland Police Union President Steve Loomis told the I-Team he disagrees.
“While this is a tragic incident for all involved and our hearts go out to the families of both the suspect and the officers, the actions taken by our officers were a direct result of the poor decisions this young man unfortunately made that morning,” Loomis said. “This is yet another unfortunate example of a fictional story told by an ambulance chasing attorney motivated by money and not truth. We have every confidence this baseless version of events will not be supported by fact as the investigation continues to conclusion. ”
Cristallo said in response to Loomis’ statement, “When the Cleveland police stop putting people in the back of ambulances, I’ll stop chasing them.”
The family is requesting information on the two officers involved and would also like to know if the city is having an independent agency review the shooting.
Ali Pillow, a spokesman for the city, told the Fox 8 I-Team right now Cleveland police are investigating the shooting. He said the two officers involved are Alan Buford and Greg King.
The Fox 8 I-Team obtained information on past disciplinary issues with Buford.
Buford was given a lengthy suspension in 2011 after he was indicted for a traffic incident where he was accused of leaving the scene after hitting someone while he was off duty and in his private vehicle. Court records show he struck a plea deal to a misdemeanor assault charge.