Angelo Miller was doing nothing wrong when he was shot and killed by the Cleveland Police. The 17-year-old African American youth could be heard shouting in the background of a 911 call: “I’m not doin’ nothing!”
Miller’s family filed a lawsuit, in which Officer John Lundy, an 18-year police veteran, is alleged to have “recklessly and deliberately” shot the unarmed suspect as he drove away from the police.
The officers said they thought he might have been stealing car radios. But there was no evidence of that. The suit also says that the city failed to train officers in how to deal with fleeing suspects.
Cleveland Chief Assistant Prosecutor Victor Perez concluded that Officer Lundy fired eight shots at Miller. But the city claimed it was in self-defense.
Officer Lundy worked part-time as a security officer at the Lexington Village apartment complex. In March 2007 he said he saw four teenagers running away when he approached them.
Miller’s family said that the teen panicked and tried to get away from the security officer, who he did not know was a police officer. Security officers do not have the legal authority to arrest for misdemeanor crimes. Fleeing them is not the same as resisting arrest.
But Lundy was a cop and fired eight shots from his police-issued service pistol. The officer claimed that the youth was trying to run him over. But it seems strange to shoot at someone who is driving towards you, rather than simply moving out of the way.
Miller’s mother, Alicia Kirkman, says that this is about poor police training, not about race.
“The way it seems to me is they’re being trained to kill,” Kirkman told the Cleveland Plain Dealer.
If officers received correct training, she asserts, her son would be alive today.
(Article by Jackson Marciana; reporting, 911 call and video via the Northeast Ohio Media Group; image used for illustrative purposes from separate Cleveland area police accountability protest)