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Did Shaker police use deadly force on unarmed man?

James W. Wade III | 10/10/2013, 11:30 a.m.
Officers went to the home three times in a two-week stretch in August for loud music complaints. Another report from ...

Shaker Heights was once known as one of the most secure suburbs in the nation. But lately, a lot of crime seems to be on the forefront in the area. Around 5:27 a.m. on Monday, Shaker Heights police responded to a disturbance call for loud music.

While police were at the home in question on 14004 Becket Road, Isaiah Smith was shot by a dispatched officer investigating the complaint. Police refuse to release the name of the officer.

Smith is at MetroHealth Medical Center with a collapsed lung. Nowhere in the report does it indicate Smith had a weapon. The offending officer was placed on paid administrative leave in accordance with department policy while the investigative unit probes the shooting.

Investigators at the home marked seven pieces of evidence in the driveway, including a pool of blood and what appeared to be at least one fired bullet shell casing. They also blocked off the front yard next door, about 30 feet from the Cleveland-Shaker Heights border.

The police have not yet explained why they shot Smith. Records show officers have gone to the home 13 times since 2008. This includes four previous complaints for loud music blasting from the home since May of 2012.

Officers went to the home three times in a two-week stretch in August for loud music complaints. Another report from July 10 says a man that lived at the home started a fire while cooking intoxicated. No one was injured but responders found the man unresponsive at first.

The Shaker Heights Police Department (SHPD) has been accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies since 1989 and was re-accredited in 2005. SHPD is the only municipal department in Cuyahoga County to achieve this distinction. The city takes great pride in the high level of professionalism and success of its department.

The city’s prosecution rate is well above the national average for Part 1 crimes. These are facts the department advertises when looking to hire new officers.

Deadly force, as defined by the United States Armed Forces, is the force in which a person uses, or that a person knows, or should know, would create a substantial risk of causing death or serious bodily harm.

“We will do a fairly extensive investigation to make sure we have all the information,” Shaker Police Chief Scott Lee said. “We will wait to release information in order to ensure we maintain the integrity of the investigation.”