A Euclid man’s family is demanding answers after he was shot and killed by a police officer. It happened in March as Luke Stewart sat in his car on a residential street.
Stewart’s family says the Euclid Police Department has been less than forthcoming with information about the deadly shooting.
“They tell us nothing. They just kill my brother and say nothing. It makes no sense at all,” said Stewart’s brother, while sobbing.
A dozen members of Stewart’s family gathered for an emotional news conference on Monday, calling for information from the Euclid Police Department.
They describe the 23-year-old as a jokester who loved food and cars. He was a son, brother, cousin and father to two young boys.
“He was a good dad. They loved they dad, that’s for sure,” said Kashonia Jones, the mother of Stewart’s children.
On Monday, March 13 around 6 a.m., Euclid officers responded to a report of a suspicious vehicle parked on South Lakeshore near East 215 Street. We now know Stewart was inside that car. Something happened when police arrived on scene and at some point Euclid Officer Matthew Rhodes shot Stewart. Stewart was killed.
There were no weapons found in Stewart’s vehicle, but there is an investigation into whether his car was used as a weapon. Officer Rhodes was taken to the hospital for a check-up, but quickly released.
“Luke shouldn’t have been shot. Luke should have been tasered, restrained. There was two officers there. He had no weapons. So the use of deadly force, I just cannot wrap my mind around,” said Jocelyn Smith, Stewart’s cousin.
Stewart’s family says they haven’t gotten an explanation about what happened from police.
Euclid Police did release body camera video, but it comes from a different officer and begins after the shooting.
We reached out to the Euclid Police Department for comment after the family’s news conference, but haven’t heard back.
According to Cleveland.com, Officer Rhodes spent three days on leave after the incident then went back to work in his normal capacity.
The Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation is looking into what led to Stewart’s death. Those investigations usually take months.