CLEVELAND — Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Michael C. O’Malley has confirmed that Mayor Frank Jackson’s grandson is now a suspect in a homicide investigation that led police to the mayor’s doorstep last month.
On Aug. 28, 30-year-old Antonio Parra was standing outside of a barber shop in the 5000 block of Clark Avenue when he was approached by two men in black hoodies. The men shot Parra multiple times and then ran off.
A witness gave police a license plate number of a vehicle spotted leaving the crime scene. That license plate came back registered to the mayor’s grandson.
Authorities converged on the mayor’s house and a vehicle was towed from the scene.
“Certainly, we have no other explanation as to any other potential drivers of his vehicle, so certainly he would be considered a suspect,” said O’Malley.
The prosecutor states that Cleveland police should turn the homicide investigation over to an independent agency, but the only person who can make that request is Cleveland Police Chief Calvin Williams, whom Mayor Jackson appointed.
Councilman Matt Zone who chairs city council's Safety Committee agreed the case should be handed off.
"The men and women of our department do noble work every single day," said Zone. "But the perception is sometimes reality. And the perception right now in the community is that there's too many dots connected."
A Cleveland police spokesperson told News 5 Wednesday that there are no plans to turn the investigation over.
Cleveland Public Safety Director Michael McGrath wouldn't comment on the calls to turn the case over Wednesday. A spokeswoman for Mayor Jackson said he wouldn't answer questions about the request either.
O'Malley said he doesn't doubt the Cleveland police detectives' work on the case. But now, two weeks after that deadly shooting and with no one charged, he says it's about perception.
“I know the Cleveland Police Department is attempting to solve this case. But if they don’t, there are going to be some questions asked and they’re going to be very difficult questions to answer. Was everything done to bring these people to justice, and that’s where, that’s why, this thing should be handed over to an independent agency,” O’Malley said.
Councilman Mike Polensek worries if city police continue on the case, the department's credibility will be on the line.
"I predict to you this is going to fester," said Polensek. "This is going to get ugly and that should not happen."
Through his attorney, Frank Q. Jackson denied any involvement in the shooting. He has not been criminally charged in connection with the case.