Review Reveals Potential Violations During Deadly Chase

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CLEVELAND-- Several Cleveland police officers involved in the November 29 pursuit that ended in East Cleveland could soon be facing disciplinary charges.

City officials released information on the administrative review Wednesday.

According to the review, there are several potential violations.  The chase started around 10:30 p.m. November 29, 2012 at the Justice Center in downtown Cleveland.

The chase started when an officer attempted to stop the suspects' car on East 22nd.  The car fled and then a few minutes later an officer outside of the Justice Center said someone in the suspects' car fired a shot at him.

Several officers began chasing the car. During the pursuit, supervisors did tell officers to stop pursuing; some officers obeyed while others continued the chase, which is a violation of policy.

The chase ended in East Cleveland where the two suspects, Timothy Russell and Malissa Williams, were killed.

“The evidence presented by the review committee indicates there were procedure infractions relative to these officers involved in the pursuit,” said Police Chief Michael McGrath.

Union President Jeff Follmer, however, defends the officers’ actions and says the chief may not have a clear picture of the situation because he was not a road supervisor.

“We knew there were going to be some violations out there. Our officers think of officer safety; they are worried about their fellow officers,” Follmer said.

There were 322 officers on the duty that night, and out of that amount 98 officers and 15 supervisors face administrative action.

The criminal investigation regarding the use of deadly force is now in the hands of the Cuyahoga County Prosecutor’s Office.  The prosecutor is reviewing the matter and will decide if any charges should be filed.

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