|Photo by UK Ministry of Defence/Flickr|
The Cleveland Police Patrolmen’s Association this week defended its plan to raise money for an officer by raffling off a gun similar to one he used to kill an unarmed man.
Cleveland Officer Alan Buford was put on desk duty in March after he shot and killed 18-year-old Brandon Jones while trying to arrest the unarmed man on suspicion of burglary.
Cleveland Police Patrolmen’s Association President Steve Loomis told The Cleveland Plain Dealer that the union was raising money for Buford because desk duty meant that his supplemental income had been restricted. Buford could no longer earn overtime or moonlight with part-time jobs and he was having trouble paying the bills, Loomis said.
To help the officer out, the union is throwing a fundraiser by raffling off a 40-inch television and a Glock 26 pistol. A poster for the August 8 event was seen Monday on the sixth floor of the Cuyahoga County Justice Center.
Civil Rights attorney Paul Cristallo, who is representing Jones’ family, argued that the police union had crossed the line by raffling off the same style weapon that Buford used in the killing.
“It’s grossly offensive. Simple as that,” Cristallo pointed out. “Whether it was a mindless mistake or a sick joke, it’s still offensive.”