Panel’s role in Cleveland police ruling questioned

CLEVELAND (AP) – A lawyer for families of men killed in separate 2012 shootings by Cleveland police – including a 137-bullet chase under federal investigation – questions a grand jury’s role in a county prosecutor’s ruling this week.

Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Timothy McGinty announced Thursday that Cleveland Patrolman Roger Jones acted lawfully when he fatally shot 20-year-old Kenneth Smith, of Euclid, in March 2012. McGinty said Jones acted reasonably and “heroically.”

Attorney Terry Gilbert represents Smith’s family in a civil wrongful-death lawsuit against Jones and the city. He tells The (Cleveland) Plain Dealer (http://bit.ly/1i099Tq ) a grand jury didn’t hear from key witnesses, including Jones, and it’s unclear the panel received charges from McGinty to vote on.

McGinty’s spokesman says the grand jury process is secret by law and can’t be discussed.

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