Area Ministers Call for Fair Review of Chase

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CLEVELAND, Ohio -- Several area ministers are calling for a fair and unbiased investigation of the November 29 police chase and police involved shooting.

Clergy from several area churches met Tuesday afternoon at the Justice Center in downtown Cleveland.

“We want justice," said Roland Muhammad, of Cleveland. "I am tied with the community. I hear their cry. I hear their plea. I hear their concerns with this issue with Malissa Williams and Timothy Russell, and it has charged the black community, and they are highly upset."

The ministers held the news conference at the Justice Center, the place where the November 29 chase started.

The chase began after an officer said someone fired a shot at him while he was on the sidewalk. It ended in East Cleveland, where 13 officers fired 137 shots at the suspects.

Timothy Russell and Malissa Williams died.

The ministers said the chase has left many in the community very upset and in search for answers.

“We believe more than anything that this is a bad omen for the city of Cleveland, the corporation, companies that are thinking of coming to Cleveland,” said the Rev. Dr. Tony Minor, executive director of the United Pastors in Mission. “We as a city want to make sure the people feel safe, and no one is above the law.”

Union officials said the officers acted properly.

The state investigation was completed earlier this month and has been given to the Cuyahoga County Prosecutor’s Office.

“Was there excessive deadly force,” asked the Rev. Larry Harris, of United Pastors in Mission. “We need an answer, and if there was will a criminal investigation take place, that is our concern.”

Officials with the prosecutor’s office said when they are done reviewing the case, it will be presented to the grand jury.

For much more on the police chase and shooting, click here.