Demonstrators march to Cleveland mayor’s house, demand justice for Desmond Franklin

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Desmond Franklin (Courtesy: Black Lives Matter Cleveland)

CLEVELAND (WJW) — Community members are marching to Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson’s home Saturday morning to call for justice in the shooting death of Desmond Franklin, 22.

According to the Cleveland chapter of Black Lives Matter, participants are demanding the firing and arrest of Jose Garcia.

Franklin was shot and killed in April by Garcia, an off-duty Cleveland Police officer who was driving an unmarked vehicle.

Garcia encountered Franklin and a 17-year-old boy at a local convenient store. He believed they were possibly involved in criminal activity.

Garcia and Franklin reportedly exchanged words, before departing in their separate vehicles.

There was then an encounter in the area of West 25th and Pearl between the two groups. Garcia says one of the suspects showed a weapon, prompting him to open fire through his vehicle’s window and striking Franklin in the head.

This caused Franklin to lose control of the vehicle and crash into a cemetery. He was taken to the hospital and later pronounced dead.

Police say Franklin’s teenage passenger took off and was later taken into custody.

Garcia was not injured during the incident. The NAACP says he reported the incident as self-defense.

Since his death, Franklin’s loved ones, as well as dozens of Cleveland community members, have called for justice.

The shooting was investigated by the Cuyahoga County Sheriff’s Office and the Ohio Attorney General’s Special Prosecutions Section was requested to handle the case on June 23.

“Right now the case with Assistant Attorney General Daniel Kasaris, the investigation has been complete however he still has to interview one or two people, and once he does that he’s assured us he’s going to take this case to the grand jury in September,” said the family’s attorney Stanley Jackson with The Cochran Firm.

Jackson says the historical precedent of many officers not being charged doesn’t give him much confidence.

“We believe that the climate that we’re in right now that maybe the Attorney General, maybe the governor will take their time and examine this in a way will be fair and just,” said Jackson.

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