Cleveland Police Will Not Punish Jose Garcia, Officer Who Shot and Killed Desmond Franklin

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click to enlarge Demonstrators at a march for Desmond Franklin in June, 2020. - Sam Allard / Scene
Sam Allard / Scene
Demonstrators at a march for Desmond Franklin in June, 2020.

The Cleveland Police will file no administrative charges against Jose Garcia, the 29-year-old patrol officer who shot and killed Desmond Franklin in the Brooklyn Centre neighborhood on April 9, 2019.

In a press release Thursday night, Cleveland Police Chief Calvin Williams said that his decision to file no charges came after a "thorough administrative review" by the division's Internal Affairs Unit, which determined that Garcia did not violate any policies, rules or regulations.

The internal decision arrives after a Cuyahoga County Grand Jury declined to bring criminal charges against Garcia earlier this year.

The police shooting sparked citywide protests in 2020, often in conjunction with the police slaying of George Floyd a month after Franklin's death.

For Franklin's family, the lack of information in the case was cause for frustration and suspicion. Garcia's account differed substantially from that of the teenage passenger riding with Franklin when he was shot. The teenager remains the only eyewitness, and because Garcia was off-duty at the time of the shooting, he was not wearing a body cam.

Garcia claimed that he was driving to work and that after seeing Franklin and the teenager steeling a case of pop from a delivery truck at a convenience store on Forestdale Avenue and exchanging words, Franklin followed him in his car. He said that as the two vehicles were driving alongside each other, Franklin pointed a gun at him. Garcia then fired five shots, killing Franklin instantly with a shot to the head. Franklin's car then crashed into Riverside Cemetery.

According to the teen passenger's testimony, Franklin never pointed the gun at Garcia. A gun was found, but information has not been released to show that Franklin fired a gun. (This almost certainly means that Franklin did not fire the gun. If there were evidence corroborating Garcia's account, the police would have released it immediately.) The grand jury, in any case, found that there wasn't enough evidence to prove that Garcia wasn't acting in self-defense.

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About The Author

Sam Allard

Sam Allard is the Senior Writer at Scene, in which capacity he covers politics and power and writes about movies when time permits. He's a graduate of the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University and the NEOMFA at Cleveland State. Prior to joining Scene, he was encamped in Sarajevo, Bosnia, on an...
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