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Beachwood police officer fired for shooting at shoplifting suspect at Beachwood Place in 2019

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Posted at 2:51 PM, Feb 23, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-23 16:12:37-05

BEACHWOOD, Ohio — A Beachwood police officer, who opened fire on a shoplifter with children in close proximity over a $60 hat in 2019 at Beachwood Place, has been fired, according to Beachwood Mayor Martin S. Horwitz.

After a pre-disciplinary hearing was held on Feb. 18, Horwitz wrote a letter to officer Blake Rogers notifying him of his decision, with the recommendation of police chief Kelly Stillman to terminate his employment with the department.

According to the letter, evidence during the hearing determined Rogers failed to properly perform duties as it relates to the officer-involved shooting on June 27, 2019 and that Rogers was not “entirely honest and forthcoming about the shooting.”

“Your deadly use of force against the shoplifter of a $60 hat with bystanders (including children) in close proximity violated city policies. Your arguments are contradicted by the video evidence and third-party witnesses,” the letter addressed to Rogers stated.

During the hearing, Stillman confirmed that although the city of Beachwood did not conduct its own investigation and rather relied on materials from the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation (BCI) files, it reviewed the department’s policies.

On behalf of Rogers, Fraternal Order of Police representative Chuck Aliff said during the hearing that the shoplifter drove at Rogers with his car, running over his foot and that Rogers acted in self-defense. Aliff said there was no evidence Rogers acted dishonestly and that no charges were ever brought against him.

In October 2020, a Cuyahoga County grand jury declined to indict Rogers.

The shoplifting suspect, identified as Jaquan Jones, was later convicted and sentenced in 2020 for charges including weapon under disability, assault, robbery, possession of criminal tools, obstructing official business and failure to comply.
The city of Beachwood said this is a pending legal matter and no further comments would be given.

News 5 has reached out to the representative of Rogers for comment.

RELATED: Grand jury declines to indict Beachwood officer who fired shots during chase with alleged thief