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'It was all just genuine': Cleveland man recalls Officer Jamieson Ritter's ability to connect with neighbors

Mark Jones said he had a few interactions with Cleveland Police Officer Jamieson Ritter in his neighborhood. Jones said he happened to see Ritter a few hours before his tragic death.
Posted at 8:38 AM, Jul 06, 2024

CLEVELAND — Pain continues to ripple through Cleveland following the death of Cleveland Police Officer Jamieson Ritter.

Ritter was shot the morning of July 4 while officers were trying to arrest a suspect in connection to a felonious assault case on E. 80th Street and Wade Park Avenue.

“He was definitely a good guy. One of the ones taken too early,” said Cleveland resident Mark Jones.

Jones said he only met Ritter a few times.

"It was all just genuine,” he said.

In May, Ritter gave Jones’ young children a grand tour of his patrol car. The family was at a prom sendoff on E. 85th Street.

“It was fun. We got to turn on the sirens, said Jones’ daughter Niilah and son Mark II.

Jones captured the moment on video and posted it to social media.

“It absolutely meant the world to them. They was like, 'he’s a super cop, he's a super cop,’” Jones said. “They called him super cop."

Jones said Ritter was not afraid to mingle and make connections.

“It’s always good to see somebody just stopping by just to say, ‘hey’ or ‘how y’all doing.’”

Jones said the last time he would see Ritter was July 3, when Ritter was sent to investigate a fireworks complaint at their party.

“He stopped by said, ‘alright guys one more’ so we lit one more and we lit a long one too,” Jones said. “He was like, ‘alright y’all have a good night. Be safe.’"

Ritter was killed a few hours later, just a few blocks away.

“That was heart wrenching right there to hear first thing in the morning,” Jones said. “I heard it- like oh my God. He's a young guy too. Prayers just go out to his family. I can't imagine what they're going through right now, because I'm hurting right now and I barely knew him. I only met him a couple of times. I can’t imagine someone who’s been in his life from day one you know.”

It's why Jones said he wanted to repost that video from May on social media.

“And first thing I could think of was like wow I need to show the world he was a good guy,” Jones said.

A cop Jones said was part of the neighborhood.

I asked Jones’ kids, “Will you always remember that day?”

“Yes,” said Niilah.

Mark II said, “It was a good day.”

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