Deadly Police Chase Investigation Widens
CLEVELAND, Ohio — Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson announced the investigation surrounding a police chase that ended in the deaths of two people has widened and the number of officers involved is more than they anticipated.
The number of Cleveland Police personnel who will be interviewed now totals 115, as compared to a minimum of 26 officers identified in the hours after the incident.
Mayor Frank Jackson, Public Safety Director Martin Flask and Police Chief Michael McGrath held a news conference Tuesday morning.
Timothy Russell and Malissa Williams died after 13 officers fired 137 shots at them following the chase back on November 29, 2012.
Director of Public Safety Martin L. Flask said there were, “At least 63 police cars that had some role in this pursuit.”
The chase started at the Justice Center in downtown Cleveland after a police officer said he thought someone in the suspect’s vehicle fired a shot at him. The chase ended in East Cleveland.
It was revealed during today’s news conference that the U.S. Attorney’s Office was there during the initial investigation days after the incident.
Toxicology reports revealed that Russell and Williams tested positive for cocaine. Russell, the driver of the car, had alcohol in his system. Williams also tested positive for marijuana.
Safety Director Flask told reporters, “Radio traffic has been transcribed and a hard copy report has been reviewed.”
Cleveland Police Chief Michael McGrath said the review into the chase is 99 percent complete. They have all the evidence gathered, but reviewing will take time.
McGrath also said, “While this is taking longer than I anticipated, we will continue to cooperate until it is completed.
The state Bureau of Criminal Identification and Investigation is conducting a criminal investigation. It is not known when they will finish.