Support Local Journalism. Join the Cleveland Scene Press Club.

Friday, May 21, 2021

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

Posted By on Fri, May 21, 2021 at 1:48 PM

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.

Sign up for Scene's weekly newsletters to get the latest on Cleveland news, things to do and places to eat delivered right to your inbox.

Tags: , , , , , ,

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Cleveland Scene. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Cleveland Scene, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at

Support Local Journalism.
Join the Cleveland Scene Press Club

Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state. Our readers helped us continue this coverage in 2020, and we are so grateful for the support.

Help us keep this coverage going in 2021. Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing membership pledge, your support goes to local-based reporting from our small but mighty team.

Join the Cleveland Scene Press Club for as little as $5 a month.

Read the Digital Print Issue

January 5, 2022

View more issues


Never miss a beat

Sign Up Now

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.


© 2022 Cleveland Scene: 737 Bolivar Rd., Suite 4100, Cleveland, OH 44115, (216) 505-8199
Logos and trademarks on this site are property of their respective owners.

Website powered by Foundation