Cleveland Mayor Accused of Cover-Up in Gang Shooting

CLEVELAND (CN) – Accused of obstructing an investigation and possible prosecution, Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson is facing a wrongful-death lawsuit from a woman whose son was killed in a gang-related shooting she says is linked to the mayor’s grandson.

The skyline of Cleveland from Lake Erie. (Photo via Wikipedia Commons)

Andrea Parra, on behalf of the estate of her son Antonio, sued the mayor and Police Chief Calvin Williams in the Cuyahoga County Court of Common Pleas on Thursday, asserting claims of wrongful death, obstruction of justice and intentional infliction of emotional distress.

Antonio, the 30-year-old father of a 9-year-old girl, was shot and killed in broad daylight by two men on Aug. 28, according to the lawsuit.

The getaway car was allegedly registered to the mayor’s grandson, Frank Q. Jackson.

“Mayor Jackson’s and Chief Williams’s intentional dereliction of their duties in covering up for gang-related crimes involving the mayor’s grandsons respectively caused, and exacerbated the damage arising from, Mr. Parra’s murder,” the complaint states.

Parra alleges the mayor’s grandson and 16-year-old great-grandson live in his Cleveland home and that the mayor knows of their “extensive history of violent and gang-related criminal activity.”

She also claims the mayor uses his influence to hide his grandson’s misdeeds.

“The city prosecutor attempted to cover up for Frank Q. Jackson despite extensive evidence—including multiple witnesses and surveillance video—showing that Jackson brutally assaulted an 18-year old woman in June of 2019, including by repeatedly striking her with a metal trailer hitch,” the lawsuit states.

Parra, represented by attorney Peter Pattakos, alleges that Jackson’s grandson and great-grandson are members of the No Limit 700 gang, whose members “are known to frequent the mayor’s home.”

She quoted the mayor as telling a reporter, “They don’t pull guns on me. They’re respectful to me. I don’t have those kinds of issues or concerns with the young people out on the street.”

Parra says Antonio was killed “by two men who are believed to be affiliated with the mayor’s grandsons and to have murdered Parra in order to gain favor with them, thereby increasing their status in the No Limit 700 gang in which the mayor’s grandsons are believed to be leaders.”

She also accused the mayor and police chief of obstructing the investigation of her son’s murder.

“At the mayor’s instruction, Cleveland police failed to question Frank Q. Jackson or take him into custody on the date of the crime, failed to conduct a gunshot residue test that would have shown if Jackson had fired a gun, and failed to record their interactions with the Jacksons on their body cameras, all despite established departmental policies and procedures to the contrary,” Parra alleged.

She also says the defendants have refused to appoint an independent investigator into her son’s murder “despite the obvious conflicts of interest and despite demands from citizens, public officials and the press.”

The mayor’s office declined to comment.

Parra’s attorney said in a statement that his client and the public “are entitled to answers about the mayor’s shocking lack of accountability here.”

“Nothing will bring Antonio back to life but we can at least obtain some justice for his family in Ohio’s courts and help ensure that criminal laws are equally enforced throughout the city, county, and state regardless of a suspect’s status or family connections,” Pattakos said.

The lawsuit states that Frank Q. Jackson pleaded guilty in July to charges of aggravated disorderly conduct, attempted drug abuse and aggravated menacing, and that the mayor’s great-grandson was arrested that same month for allegedly driving the car from which the passenger shot at Cleveland police.

“Both teens were charged with felonious assault, discharging a firearm, improperly handling a gun in a car, and criminal damaging,” the complaint states.

Jackson is serving his fourth term in office and is the longest tenured mayor in Cleveland history.

While the lawsuit calls Frank Q. Jackson a leader of the No Limits 700 gang, it notes that the mayor has denied that his grandson owns a gun and that the “only vice that he may have is illegal riding of dirtbikes.”

Also that summer, a photo surfaced of an alleged No Limits 700 member with a gun and cash in the mayor’s driveway with a Cleveland police car in the background of the photo.

“Reasonable minds may conclude that Antonio Parra would be alive today if not for the culture of impunity fostered by the mayor’s intentional obstruction of justice in cases involving alleged criminal conduct by his grandsons,” the lawsuit states.

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