A Cleveland police officer was indicted for the 2015 killing of an unarmed Cleveland teen.
Officer Alan Buford was charged by a Cuyahoga County Grand Jury with negligent homicide for fatally shooting 18-year-old Brandon Jones outside a Parkwood Avenue store on March 19, 2015, court documents say.
According to Cleveland police spokeswoman Jennifer Ciaccia, Officer Buford will be working desk duty while his case goes through the judicial system.
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Buford and his partner, Patrolman Gregory King, responded to reports of a break-in at the Parkwood Grocery with their weapons drawn, according to a spokesperson with CPD. The two officers confronted Jones, who was exiting the store with a bag carrying stolen coins, cigars and cigarettes.
While Jones was being arrested, Buford fired his weapon, fatally striking Jones in the upper chest. Witnesses told Newsnet5 then that Jones didn't struggle, fight or try to flee the officers. He was shot by Buford while unarmed and in custody.
County Prosecutor Tim McGinty had this to say about the indictment:
“Based on the known evidence, our Office recommended and the Grand Jury agreed that Officer Buford’s conduct did not meet the U.S. Supreme Court’s legal standards to justify a police officer’s use of deadly force. It was reasonable for the police to respond as they did to a 911 call of a break-in, reasonable to confront the suspect with guns drawn as he left the store with stolen merchandise and to order him to stop. It is not reasonable for a police officer to use deadly force if he or she does not believe a suspect poses a threat of death or serious bodily harm to the police or the public. Therefore, based on the facts and circumstances in this case, we recommended criminal charges against Officer Buford and the Grand Jury agreed."
Buford faces up to 180 days in jail if convicted of the misdemeanor crime.