CLEVELAND (AP) — The partner of a Cleveland police patrolman who is on trial for the fatal shooting of an unarmed burglary suspect testified Wednesday that the shooting wasn't necessary, Cleveland.com reported.
Patrolman Gregory King testified in Cleveland Municipal Court that he didn't fear for his life when partner Alan Buford shot Brandon Jones, 18, once in the chest in March 2015, the news site reported (http://bit.ly/2twPELU ).
Buford is charged with negligent homicide, a first-degree misdemeanor punishable by a maximum of six months in jail. The case is being heard by a judge, not a jury. Jones was black, as are Buford and King.
King testified Buford shot Jones within seconds of the officers grabbing him outside a closed convenience store where Jones had stolen cigarettes and junk food.
"I was surprised," King said. "I just wasn't expecting it."
Jones' family gasped when King said he never feared enough for his life that night to have used deadly force, according to Cleveland.com. The two officers were dressed in their patrol uniforms Wednesday and didn't look at each other as King testified for about an hour.
Buford's attorney asked King about the dangers the officers faced. King testified he kept his gun pointed at Jones before the shooting and said the break-in occurred in a high-crime area.
King said he checked on Jones after he was shot. He said the teen's last words were, "I don't want to die here."
Buford is assigned to light duty with no contact with the public, a Cleveland police spokeswoman said. King has returned to patrol duties.
Information from: cleveland.com, http://www.cleveland.com