Lawsuit filed against Cleveland for teen's death

Posted at 6:29 PM, Mar 18, 2016
and last updated 2016-03-19 14:58:40-04

Tanya Brown, the mother of an 18-year-old man who was shot and killed by Cleveland police, has filed a lawsuit against the City of Cleveland and the two officers involved in her son's death, according to court documents. 

Police said Brandon Jones was shot by officers at 2:15 a.m. on March 19, 2015 on Parkwood Drive and Primrose Avenue.

Cleveland Police said officers were checking out a break-in at a small convenience store when the shooting happened. 

When Cleveland Police Officers Alan Buford and Greg King arrived, police said Jones came out of the store with a bag. At least one officer had his gun drawn, a source stated.

The two officers approached Jones and tried to arrest the man. Police said a struggle between the three ensued. 

The lawsuit said Jones, according to eyewitnesses, did not struggle, fight, attempt to flee or reach for a weapon. Even though he was in custody and unarmed, Buford, who was holding his gun and yelling at Jones, fired his weapon and shot him. 

Jones was taken to MetroHealth Medical Center in critical condition and later died, police reported.

The lawsuit stated:

"Brandon Jones’ death was the result of an unreasonable and unnecessary use of excessive force. This avoidable tragedy is part of a pattern and practice of excessive force by Cleveland Police Department (CPD) officers as investigated and documented by a December 2014 United States Department of Justice (DOJ) Investigative report..."

The DOJ report mentioned in the quote above can be viewed here.

The lawsuit continued, stating though the City of Cleveland was made aware of its police department's ongoing use of excessive force, Buford and King were not provided additional training, guidance, or supervision to address the issue.

Also, not referring Jones' case to an outside law enforcement agency until months after the shooting was mentioned to have tainted the investigation, according to the lawsuit. 

In the lawsuit, Brown asked for compensatory and consequential damages to be paid for all injuries identified in an amount to be determined by the court, pay for punitive damages against Jones in an amount to be determined at a trial for Buford's conduct, pay for attorney's fees and any other costs associated with the lawsuit, prejudgment interest, and all other relief the court would offer. 

Read the full lawsuit here.