New CPD Pursuit Policy Has Zone Car Limit

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CLEVELAND - In the wake of a deadly chase sixteen months ago that left two people dead, Cleveland police announced on Thursday changes in its pursuit policy that put emphasis on safety first.

In bold print, on the first page of the new directive, officers are instructed to "err on the side of caution" in any pursuit.

Caution was hard to find on November 29, 2012 when over 60 Cleveland police cars chased two people for nearly half-an-hour before killing them in a hail of 137 bullets in East Cleveland.

Authorities did not find a weapon on either victim, 43-year-old Timothy Russell or his passenger, 30-year-old Malissa Williams.

Because he died, no one knows for sure why Russell fled.

But David Malik, the attorney for Williams' family, said, "There's a penalty for running from the police; it's not death."

New Police Chief Calvin Williams said the "chase definitely has a place in this (new) order."

But he said the idea for reforming the policy started before the chase.

Still, regarding training, Chief Williams said, "We've probably taken it up ten levels (since the chase)."

The new policy said police can only chase if they know or believe the suspect is a violent felon or a drunk driver.

The old policy said that only two cars could chase without a supervisor's approval.

Chief Williams said the new policy clarifies that prohibition and is designed "to make sure events like (the chase) don't happen again in the city."

East Cleveland Mayor Gary Norton told Fox 8 News sheriff’s deputies and the Bureau of Criminal Investigation will re-enact the shooting on Saturday around 9 a.m.  The East Cleveland Police Department will not be involved.

Norton said he was told the area around Heritage Middle School where the chase ended and the shooting happened will be roped off and no shots will be fired.

The car is also supposed to be brought back to the scene.

CLICK HERE for continuing coverage on the shooting.

18 comments

  • Beth

    Why do you keep showing this CAR? I’m sure the families has not forgotten!!! They don’t care about what you want to chang at this point!
    They are not policemen to protect and serve, they are cops full of hate! I’m glad some of the are losing their JOBS!!!!

  • James Nawrocki

    I say yet again, Cleveland Police and Fire Department are nothing but a legal gang!!!! They steal, steal, and continue to steal monies and innocent lives from the community. But the community seems to think their shit smells good. As nothing, and I mean nothing ever gets done to punish these entrusted servants. Almost half the fire Department was caught stealing from the taxpayers who pay for their salaries. Getting paid for multiple jobs they were never there for. Do you think they should just be allowed to be reprimanded and keep their job, while any other taxpayer would go to prison??? And I wont even go there where a hundred plus peace officers chased a couple in a car, killing them in cold blood, their only crime running scared. Shit! growing up in Hudson, Ohio, i remember throwing a football into an open window of a cruiser, and being chased, Im such a bad, bad, guy, I deserved to be shot to death for that crime, what a joke!

  • boogie123

    Attention all criminals: You are now approved to flee from the police. Cleveland has further helped you from suffering injustices of being pursued while trying to make a living. And people wonder why this city is such a national joke. Why doesn’t the mayor just put regulators on the cruisers now.

  • Sun King

    Hey James Nawrocki, time to tweak your medications a bit. It’s that or the foil hat you are wearing is starting to mess with your brain function. As I recall, these were not just two innocent people “running scared”. They were two lifelong drug abusing criminals who had ample opportunity to pull their car over and avoid what happened to them. They got exactly what they asked for. Who cares anyhow? Two less dregs on society. Too bad they didn’t have a few more of their drug using thief friends in the car with them at the time.

    • jason

      Don’t forget as well that it wasn’t the first time the thug driver ran from and led the police in a pursuit. The media kind of forgets to bring that one up.

  • Ivan

    I am sick and tired of this city attacking the police and firefighters that work here. The city ties their hands or makes up lies/exaggerations and then expects them all to do their job? Are you kidding?

    Watch these guys go to work, put in their 8 hours, and then go home – not caring one iota about catching criminals. Nothing is worse for “production” than low moral and the city is doing everything in its power to see the moral is as low as it can possibly go.

    Why would any cop chase anybody for any reason, now? You just shot and killed 3 people? So what! You just raped somebody? So what! Have fun because the police have their hands tied behind their back and cannot do anything to you – that would be “racist!”

    • Mike

      I don’t have a problem with the police officers. I do have a problem with their upper level officers that do not seem able to enforce discipline or set expectations. When this story first aired I thought it was representative of the department. Whenever I’ve called the police in cleveland, they could never send a unit out. They always said to come down to the department and fill out a report. Some of the incidents had just occurred and were probably still occuring right around the corner. At the time I thought they probably had their hands full. Then I read this story when it first came out and I thought, “no, they have the resources, they’re just out doing whatever they want.” What is happening right now that we don’t know about?

    • Mike

      And when I say resources, they had 60 cars on this pursuit! What happened in the rest of the city when 60 cars were all in one spot? I’m sure someone somewhere was told to come down to the station after their robber left to fill out a police report. Should they be able to chase people? Yes. Should they have 60 cars on a pursuit, shoot first and then ask questions later? No. Could they have gotten by with 2, 3 or even 4 cars? Yes. Whose fault is that? Commanding officers.

  • joe

    I am a retired officer from NC. we had a great policy on car chases. it is a good idea to only have 2 in pursuit at a time unless more are needed. don’t judge this investigation just yet. a lot of times they are needed to clear the officers in any wrong doing. the fact that this guy chose to run should go in the officers favor unless your chief bows down to political correctness.

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