I-TEAM: Video shows moments leading to deadly police shooting at local nightspot

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CLEVELAND – The FOX 8 I-TEAM is giving you the first look at what led up to the deadly shooting of an unarmed man by an off-duty Cleveland police officer. It happened last year outside the Corner Alley on the city’s east side. The I-TEAM obtained security video, police body camera video and witness statements through a public records request.  A special prosecutor released the recordings since a grand jury recently reviewed the case and cleared the officer. The incident left 21-year-old Thomas Yatsko dead. He had been thrown out of the bar for fighting and security video shows what then happened just outside. You see Yatsko squaring off with Cleveland Police Sgt. Dean Graziolli. He had been working security there off-duty. Police said Yatsko turned aggressive, pushing and punching the officer and leaving his face bruised and bloodied. The video shows a little of the confrontation and you can see Graziolli had pulled his gun. Then Yatsko appeared to take another step toward the officer throwing another punch. Graziolli then fired two shots. Police video also captured the stunned reaction of the man who’d been involved in a fight with Yatsko earlier.
Weeks ago, a grand jury reviewed the shooting. A special prosecutor said, over two days, he showed the video and presented statements from witnesses and even the officer. The grand jury decided on no charges, essentially ruling the shooting was justified. Meantime, we’ve learned Graziolli is still on restricted duty while an internal investigation is ongoing to determine if any violations of police department rules took place during the shooting. While the special prosecutor’s office released dozens of recordings, we did not receive the statement from officer Graziolli. We have asked why, but so far no one at the Franklin County prosecutors office has responded. We’ve confirmed the officer did make a statement to sheriff’s deputies which was recorded on video. Continuing coverage, here.

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