The more things change, the more they stay the same. Yet another policeman is getting off for shooting an unarmed black person. Per News Observer, Officer Matthew Rhodes is not facing charges after he fatally shot an unarmed black driver in Euclid, a Cleveland suburb.
After hearing evidence brought by prosecutors in the state attorney general’s office on Tuesday, a grand jury decided not to indict Officer Rhodes. On March 13, Officer Rhodes shot Luke Stewart three times after struggling to gain control of a moving car. Rhodes had approached Stewart in response to a suspicious vehicle report.
Stewart was only 23-years-old, per News 5 Cleveland.
"I couldn't get out of the vehicle because it was moving and I didn't want to get smashed between my vehicle and the passenger door, so I basically jumped into the vehicle. I pulled my legs into the vehicle with me to avoid being smashed between the two vehicles," said Rhodes during the investigation. Rhodes also noted that he initially tried to taser Stewart, but that method wasn’t effective.
The jury’s decision not to indict follows a slew of racial tensions throughout the city, including the most recent incident where a white officer was caught on video punching a black man over a dozen times during a traffic stop this month. Residents criticized Euclid police and its police brutality issues.
"The Euclid Police Department asks for peace as the difficult healing process begins for the family and loved ones of Luke Stewart, Officer Matthew Rhodes and the City of Euclid. We extend our deepest sympathy to all those affected by this terrible event," said Police Chief Scott Meyer via an official statement.