A Cleveland police officer was fired Thursday for the 2015 fatal shooting of an unarmed burglary suspect, reports the Plain Dealer. Alan Buford was terminated after city officials found that he used excessive force in the March 19, 2015, death of Brandon Jones, 18. The shooting happened while Buford and another officer investigated a break-in at a grocery store. Cleveland Public Safety Director Michael McGrath’s administrative review found that Buford violated policy “by using force greater than what was necessary.” Buford was charged with misdemeanor negligent homicide but was acquitted in July by municipal court judge after a three-day trial.
That acquittal came despite testimony from Buford’s partner, Gregory King, that he thought the shooting was unnecessary. The victim’s mother has filed a wrongful-death civil lawsuit against the city and the police officer. Her attorney, Paul Cristallo, praised the firing, saying, “I think it certainly validates what we’ve been saying all along — that Officer Buford didn’t have to shoot Brandon. It’s a step toward accountability.” Cleveland police union president Steve Loomis called the firing an “unwarranted attack” on police officers. He said the union will seek arbitration to get Buford reinstated.