Euclid officer involved in fatal shooting placed on desk duty

Euclid officer involved in fatal Luke Stewart shooting placed on desk duty

EUCLID - Jocelyn Smith has lost count of the times she has seen the day her cousin died.

Several times a week, she reviews surveillance and body camera video that the Euclid Police Department provided her attorneys.

On Wednesday, she shared that video with WKYC Channel 3 News.

We previously had requested the video, however, the department refused to make it available.

It shows Officer Matthew Rhodes, who was not wearing a camera, minutes after he fatally shot Luke Stewart, an unarmed father of two, who was not being compliant.

At one point, officers on scene could be heard suggesting they not use their radios.

Within weeks of the shooting, Officer Rhodes returned to full duty and Smith believes it sent a message.

“If they would’ve held Officer Rhodes more accountable in Luke’s case,” Smith said, “some of these other cases could’ve been prevented.”

She said she never wanted Rhodes to lose his job, but rather be placed on desk duty pending an investigation. For months, she also said she wanted to meet with both the Mayor of Euclid and the Euclid Police Chief.

This week they finally got back to her.

Smith said the chief told her today that Rhodes will be placed on desk duty while a grand jury reviews the case. Both the chief and mayor are expected to sit down with Smith face-to-face on Thursday.

She said she has a lot that she wants to talk about, particularly when it comes to the department’s use of deadly force. She is also calling for a citizen’s review board to look at fatal shootings.

She also believes there needs to be a conversation about race; she said the department has nearly 90 police officers and fewer than 10 of them are black.

© 2017 WKYC-TV


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