Grand Jury Declines to Charge Cop Who Shot Fleeing Shoplifter

A Cuyahoga County grand jury has declined to bring charges against a Beachwood police officer who shot a 19-year-old man in the shoulder as he was speeding away after shoplifting from Beachwood Place Mall last summer.

A copy of the so-called no-bill provided by attorneys for officer Blake Rogers shows the grand jury voted on Thursday not to charge Rogers in the shooting of 19-year-old Jaquan Jones. The document, which was filed with the county Clerk of Court’s office on Friday, does not list any specific charges that the jury voted on.

Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Michael O’Malley recused his office from investigating the shooting and appointed Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost’s office to handle the investigation. Assistant Ohio Attorney General Micah Ault presented the case to the grand jury, according to a copy of the no-bill.

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“The thoughtful consideration of the grand jury led to a just result,” Rogers’ attorney Kim Corral said in a text message. “For more than a year, the city of Beachwood and Cuyahoga County dragged and fumbled this process at great cost to taxpayers, to public trust, and to Officer Rogers. However, this troubled process evidences why independent, transparent investigation and review is crucial to due process. Jones’ attorney, Marcus Sidoti, could not be reached for comment Friday.

Rogers shot Jones after responding to reports of a theft from Dillard’s at the mall about 2:30 PM, June 27, 2019. Jones, who stole a $59 hat, ran from officers who chased him out of the mall and into the parking lot. Rogers arrived in his patrol car and spotted Jones as he hid in some bushes. Jones then ran into the parking lot, and Rogers yelled out the window to Jones, “You better stop, or I’m going to f—–g tase you,” Rogers wrote in his report of the incident. Jones jumped into a parked car. Rogers approached with his gun drawn and ordered Jones out of the car several times, the report said.

In his report, Rogers wrote that he saw Jones in the car reach toward the floor of the seat, and he began to put the car in forward and reverse and started to try to drive away. Jones wrote that he saw Jones turn the wheel toward him and became “overwhelmingly terrified” that he would be run over and killed. He fired two shots through the window. Rogers also wrote in the report that the windows were too darkly tinted for him to tell if he struck Jones as he drove by, he said.

Rogers wrote that he ran back to his patrol car and noticed that his body camera did not record the interaction. He wrote that the device was supposed to automatically turn on when he activated the lights and siren on the police car. He believed that the camera “malfunctioned” and did not automatically kick on…

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