Friends and family protest decision to clear officers involved in Niles shooting

Local News

Johnson said the prosecutors' office did not deliver justice

NILES, Ohio (WKBN) – Friends and family of Matthew Burroughs marched down the street in protest Saturday night, ending in front of the Niles police department.

Burroughs, 35, was killed in the shooting involving two police officers near the Royal Mall Apartments on Vienna Avenue in Niles in January.

Last week, Watkins said in a 35-page report that an investigation found the officers were justified in using force against Burroughs.

“Today, members of our community here in Trumbull County are gathering to respond to the lack of indictment on those officers who killed Matthew Burroughs during that encounter on Jan. 2,” said Second Baptist Church Pastor Todd Johnson.

Johnson said protesters want the U.S. Department of Justice to investigate the officer-involved shooting.

Earlier on Saturday, Trumbull County Prosecutor Dennis Watkins confirmed that the case is being handed over to the U.S. Justice Department for further review.

Johnson said the prosecutor’s office did not deliver justice.

“Justice for Matt is a recognition that they did not have to fatally wound him in order to apprehend him,” Johnson said.

“Today is about showing the city of Niles that we’re not stopping. This journey is going to continue. This fight for justice is going to continue,” said Blair Floyd with the “Justice for Matthew” Initiative.

People at the protest spoke and gave prayers. One man even read a poem that he dedicated to Burroughs, which he titled “Ode to the just us system vs. Mr. Matthew Burroughs.”

“Just moved to write, so I wrote what I felt,” said Michael Harvey.

Burrough’s nine-year-old daughter Jayla stood beside her emotional mother.

“He was a very nice father and I love him and I came out here today to support him and get justice for him,” Jayla said.

“I stand up for justice and he deserves justice and I’m not going to quit until he gets it,” said Jennifer Cox, the mother of Burrough’s daughter. “His life mattered to me. He mattered to a lot of people.”

The group joined hands to close the night with a prayer.

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