East Cleveland May File Charges in Deadly Police Chase
EAST CLEVELAND, Ohio– East Cleveland Mayor Gary Norton says the city is contemplating filing charges against the Cleveland police officers who shot and killed two suspects following a chase on November 29.
Fox 8 I-Team reporter Peggy Sinkovich obtained a copy of a memo written from an East Cleveland prosecutor March 1, after the mayor requested a review.
The memo states the prosecutor believes 12 of 13 officers who fired shots at Timothy Russell and Malissa Williams should be charged with negligent homicide.
“In my view, none of the officers who shot at the victims stated credible, justifiable reasons for firing at the victims and instead fired because others were firing,” East Cleveland Prosecutor Michael Winston stated in the memo. “Some of the officers claimed they thought they saw the victims handling a weapon inside the car before the shooting. However, it is highly unusual that several people would all mistakenly see the same thing. Especially since it is known through investigation that no weapons were actually present in the suspect vehicle.”
Winston added that he believes the officers “merely stated what needed to be said in order to qualify this shooting as justified.”
Russell and Williams were shot after leading Cleveland police on a high speed chase that ended in East Cleveland.
The chase started after a Cleveland police officer thought someone in the suspects’ car fired a shot at him.
Mayor Norton said the city is also waiting to find out if the county will file charges against the officers.
The county prosecutor’s office is reviewing the case.
Police union officials say the officers acted appropriately and should not face criminal charges.
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