Family of Luke Stewart Still Pleading for Answers from Euclid Police Department Three Weeks After Officer Shot and Killed Him

by

comment
Luke Stewart's brother, Cleander Stewart, shares his emotions alongside his family members. - ERIC SANDY / SCENE
  • ERIC SANDY / SCENE
  • Luke Stewart's brother, Cleander Stewart, shares his emotions alongside his family members.

The family of Luke Stewart still doesn't know what happened on March 13, save for the fact that Officer Matthew Rhodes shot and killed him. The Euclid Police Department has neither reached out for a conversation nor responded to numerous public records requests, according to the family and attorneys.

Rhodes, who has been with the department since August 2016, reportedly returned to active on-street duty three days after the shooting.



Rhodes - EUCLID POLICE DEPARTMENT/FACEBOOK
  • Euclid Police Department/Facebook
  • Rhodes
But the facts beyond the baseline sequence of events — Stewart was sitting in his car on South Lakeshore, Rhodes responded to a report of a suspicious vehicle, a chase ensued, Rhodes somehow got into Stewart's car and shot him — are unclear.

Stewart's cousin, Jocelyn Smith, said that Stewart's sister found out that he had been shot only when she happened to see his car on the news.



The state's Bureau of Criminal Investigations is running the investigation and will send its report to the Cuyahoga County Prosecutor's Officer in the future.

Until then, the circumstances surrounding Stewart's death remain as murky as many other police-involved shootings in Northeast Ohio. This afternoon, Stewart's family pleaded for answers — and, at the very least, they said, a sit-down meeting with Chief Scott Meyer.

"Our family is in need of answers just to get into the grieving process," Jocelyn Smith said today. "Death is one thing in itself. But to have our cousin shot five times — that's not about trying to stop a threat. ... There's got to be some accountability on Euclid, on Officer Rhodes and on the other officer that was involved to come forward and be honest about the events that happened."

Stewart leaves behind two children, and his family says that they have been longtime residents along Euclid's border with Cleveland.

"Please give us answers," Stewart's brother, Cleander Stewart, said amid tears.

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Cleveland Scene. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Cleveland Scene, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at news@clevescene.com.

Cleveland Scene works for you, and your support is essential.

Our small but mighty local team works tirelessly to bring you high-quality, uncensored news and cultural coverage of Cleveland and beyond.

Unlike many newspapers, ours is free – and we'd like to keep it that way, because we believe, now more than ever, everyone deserves access to accurate, independent coverage of their community.

Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing pledge, your support helps keep Cleveland's true free press free.