Stewart Family hits Euclid with civil lawsuit

Plaintiffs' lawyer Sarah Gelsomino and members of the Stewart family outside Euclid City Hall Monday.


Executive Editor

On Monday Oct. 9, roughly seven months after 23-year old Luke Stewart was fatally shot by Euclid Police while in his car, lawyers representing his family announced the filing of a federal civil rights lawsuit at Euclid City Hall.

The case was filed in The family of an unarmed black driver fatally shot by a white police officer in suburban Cleveland filed a federal civil rights lawsuit against the City of Euclid, its police department and two officers involved.

Lawyers for 23-year-old Luke Stewart filed the lawsuit in Northern District Court on Monday.

Euclid police officers Matthew Rhodes and his partner, Louis Catalani, were responding to a call about a suspicious vehicle. They found Stewart was in the car, idling on a residential street. Stewart began driving away when the officers arrived.

Rhodes got in Stewart’s the car, where he shot Stewart, who was unarmed.

The plaintiffs allege that Euclid police officer Rhodes used unjustified force when he shot Stewart five times on the morning of March 13. The suit argues Euclid is responsible for policies and practices that led to Stewart's death, which further inflamed the city's racial tensions.

Earlier this year Rhodes was cleared of any wrongdoing in the fatal shooting of Stewart.