Clevelanders assemble in downtown to protest police brutality

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CLEVELAND (WJW) — Demonstrators gathered outside FirstEnergy Stadium Friday evening to speak out against police brutality.

Black Lives Matter Cleveland is holding the “This Is Why We Walk” event in support of the family of Luke Stewart and all others who have lost loved ones to police violence.

Stewart, 23, of Cleveland, was shot and killed by an Euclid police officer in March 2017.

Luke Stewart

Police had responded to a call of a suspicious vehicle idling on the street. Stewart was tased, then shot, after the 23-year-old pulled away with an officer still in the passenger seat.

A search of the vehicle found no weapons.

The officer was later cleared of wrongdoing.

In 2018, a judge dismissed a lawsuit filed by Stewart’s family. The judge called the shooting “reasonable” but also blasted the Euclid Police Department for its “blasé approach” to excessive force training.

Friday’s demonstration comes amid several other police violence protests across Northeast Ohio and the nation.

The death of George Floyd in Minneapolis police custody has sparked all kinds of demonstrations across the country, from protests and riots to the removal of Confederate symbols, as well as conversations about racism in America.

An undated courtesy photo of George Floyd.

Floyd died in Minneapolis police custody on Memorial Day after an officer put his knee on Floyd’s neck for more than 8 minutes. The officer, Derek Chauvin, was arrested and charged with second-degree murder.

The three other officers at the scene — Thomas Lane, J. Kueng and Tou Thao — were charged with aiding and abetting second-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter. All four were fired.

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