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Vigil held for 19-year-old killed in East Cleveland officer-involved shooting

Posted at 8:32 AM, Jan 10, 2021

EAST CLEVELAND, Ohio — People in East Cleveland gathered for a vigil Saturday, demanding answers and accountability after a 19-year-old was shot and killed by East Cleveland Police earlier this week.

Many of them are concerned that the officer who shot him did not have his body camera on when that shooting took place.

Activists gathered outside of the Family Dollar in Euclid to march, pray, and call out for justice for 19-year-old Vincent Belmonte.

He was shot and killed by East Cleveland Police Sergeant Larry McDonald Tuesday.

The police chief said McDonald was chasing a stolen car driven by Belmonte when he jumped out with a gun and ran.

Video clips released by police show that McDonald’s body camera was activated while running after Belmonte but turned back off during the chase and it did not capture the moments before the shooting.

Activists at Saturday’s vigil called for McDonald to be fired and for the FBI or the Department of Justice to take over the investigation.

“We want the truth on what happened in this situation. We want to know why this body cam was turned off, and we want this officer that's involved terminated immediately, and possibly brought up on criminal charges. We don't want him retrained. We don't want him sitting at a desk. His badge and gun need to be removed, need to be terminated immediately,” Joseph Jones, the founder of Father Lives Matter, said.

McDonald is on administrative leave as the Ohio BCI investigates the shooting.

East Cleveland Police are also investigating.

Jade Jarvis is a reporter at News 5 Cleveland. Follow her on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

RELATED STORY: Activists demand action after East Cleveland police body cam shut off before deadly shooting

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