Authorities fired an Ohio police officer Tuesday who was on paid leave for more than a year and a half after shooting a suspect who was accused of shoplifting in 2019.
In a letter obtained by NBC News, Beachwood Mayor Martin Horowitz wrote Monday that the city fired officer Blake Rogers for violating several department policies, including those on dishonesty and use of deadly force in front of children.
Records showed that Rogers was paid more than $90,000 for 19 months while investigators determined whether the shooting was justified, according to CBS affiliate 19 News.
The shooting occurred on June 27, 2019, at a busy mall parking lot in Beachwood, east of Cleveland, the station said. Rogers shot and injured Laquan Jones, then 19, who was accused of stealing a $60 hat from Dillard’s, according to the station.
Jones later drove over the officer’s foot as he attempted to flee the scene, the station reported.
In October, Jones later pleaded guilty to attempted felonious assault, robbery, and grand theft, Cleveland.com reported.
Later that month, a grand jury in Cuyahoga County voted not to charge Rogers in the shooting of Jones, the newspaper reported. It was unclear what specific charges the jury voted on.
About a week later, Rogers filed a federal lawsuit against the city of Beachwood, Horwitz, and Beachwood police for delaying the nearly two-year long investigation on purpose to find a just cause for his termination, 19 news reported.
The city of Beachwood and the Beachwood Police Department declined to comment pending the ongoing legal battle.
Efforts to reach Rogers by phone Tuesday were unsuccessful.