Support Local Journalism. Join the Cleveland Scene Press Club.

Tuesday, December 7, 2021

Wrongful Death Lawsuit Filed Against Cleveland Police Officer Who Shot and Killed Desmond Franklin

Posted By on Tue, Dec 7, 2021 at 4:11 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 father of Desmond Franklin this week filed a wrongful death lawsuit against Cleveland police officer Jose Garcia, who shot and killed Franklin on April 9, 2020 while off duty.

A Cuyahoga County grand jury in February declined to bring charges against Garcia. The case was presented by the office of Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost.

Yost said officer Jose Garcia was on his way to work when he encountered Franklin and a juvenile engaged in potential criminal activity outside a convenience store on Forestdale Avenue in Cleveland's Brooklyn Centre neighborhood.

Garcia saw the pair stealing a box of pop from a truck. There was a brief verbal exchange. According to Yost, Garcia was acting as a private citizen and took no action to enforce the law.

Garcia then left the scene, and Franklin pursued in his vehicle. As the two were driving alongside each other, Garcia said that Franklin pointed a gun at him, which prompted him to fire at Franklin. He fired five shots, killing him with a shot to the head.

The juvenile with Franklin confirmed that he had given Franklin a gun, and a loaded gun was found in Franklin's car. But it has not been corroborated that Franklin pointed it at Garcia and according to the lawsuit, no evidence exists that it was fired at the officer, who nonetheless said in a 911 call that Franklin had shot at him.

Cleveland Police announced in May there would be no administrative charges or punisment against Jose Garcia.

In a press release, 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 City of Cleveland is still in the midst of an administrative review of Garcia's actions.

“He went beyond what a police officer in that situation should be doing,” Terry Gilbert, who is representing the family, told “He should have just called an on-duty police officer. He took the law into his own hands, which led to this terrible tragedy.”

A copy of the complaint can be found here.

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 [email protected].

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 26, 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: PO Box 1028, Willoughby, OH 44096-1028, (216) 505-8199
Logos and trademarks on this site are property of their respective owners.

Website powered by Foundation