The family of Arthur Keith, a 19-year-old man who was shot and killed by a Cleveland law enforcement officer almost two weeks ago, held a news conference outside CMHA police headquarters on Friday (November 20).
According to WKYC, Keith's family has hired the Cleveland-based lawyers The Cochran Firm to represent them. Stanley Jackson, an attorney with the firm indicated at the conference that the firm would conduct its own independent investigation into what happened between Keith and the Cuyahoga Metropolitan Housing Authority Police Department.
"We will be relentless and unrelenting in this case," Jackson stated. "We will find the answers."
Jackson also said they are seeking to obtain video from the shooting. "We know there are two cameras in the area, we've requested those cameras,” he added. “We know that they (CMHA police) has access to those cameras and they haven't shared. That video will show that our client (Keith) was running away when he was shot."
Later the same day, CMHA Police Chief Andres Gonzalez issued the following statement:
"Cleveland Police continue to investigate the officer involved shooting which occurred last Friday. CMHA PD will continue cooperating with them throughout the investigation.
The CMHA Police Department is a state certified law enforcement agency. All of our sworn officers are certified through the Ohio Peace Officers Training Academy. Additionally, since 1998, the CMHA Police Department has been accredited through the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies, a national credentialing authority, and from the Ohio Collaborative Police-Community Advisory Board administered through the Office of Criminal Justice.
We realize how difficult the last week has been, and we remain committed to cooperating with the Cleveland Division of Police while they investigate this matter."
The tragic incident occurred the Friday before the press conference on the Ohio city’s east side. The Cleveland Division of Police claims CMHA officers had stopped a vehicle that was allegedly connected to a shooting that occurred the day before and ordered Keith out of the car.
"Preliminary information" indicates he pointed a gun at one of the officers who subsequently fired back. Keith, according to law enforcement, fled on foot before eventually collapsing.
Keith was later transported by EMS to MetroHealth Medical Center where he died from his injuries.
The CMHA claim they discovered a gun on Keith’s person after the shooting.