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Cleveland officer who shot, killed teen gets his job back

Arbitrator rules in favor of officer
Posted at 6:41 PM, Oct 17, 2018
and last updated 2018-10-17 18:41:15-04

A Cleveland police officer who was fired for violating the department's use of force policy has been given his job back by an arbitrator.

Officer Alan Buford was fired in December 2017 after Director of Public Safety Michael McGrath found Buford used "force greater than what was necessary" during a March 2015 shooting that killed a burglary suspect.

Investigators say Brandon Jones broke into and stole from Parkwood Grocery. Buford shot and killed Jones as officers tried to arrest the 18-year-old.  Police say Jones was unarmed at the time.

Buford was charged with negligent homicide following the shooting, but a judge found him not guilty of the charge.

Jeff Follmer, president of the union representing Cleveland police officers, said the arbitrator's decision to give Buford his job back "shows Buford was wrongfully terminated."

The officer was also awarded full back pay.

In a statement, Paul Cristallo, the attorney representing Jones' family in a civil lawsuit against the officer and the city, said the teen's family was "shocked and saddened, yet not surprised," by the arbitrator's decision.  Cristallo added, "What other job can you shoot and kill a young man without provocation and get your job back without any ramifications? Brandon's family did not get justice in the criminal case and now they are denied the satisfaction of knowing that this officer would be held accountable by the Cleveland Police Department."

The family's lawsuit is currently pending in federal court.