CLEVELAND, Ohio -- A Cleveland police officer has been charged with felony manslaughter and five supervisors with misdemeanor charges in the 2012 deadly police chase and shooting.
Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Timothy McGinty made the announcement Friday afternoon.
Officer Michael Brelo was indicted on two felony charges of manslaughter in the case. The charges carry a mandatory prison term. McGinty said Brelo fired 49 shots at the suspects involved in the chase.
Attorney General Mike DeWine previously said Brelo climbed on top of a cruiser and fired downward into the suspects’ vehicle through the windshield. He then stepped across and fired from the hood of the suspects’ vehicle.
Brelo told investigators he didn’t remember doing so.
Five supervisors also face misdemeanor charges of dereliction of duty. They are: Sergeant Randolph Daley, Sergeant Patricia Coleman, Sergeant Paul Wilson, Lieutenant Jason Edens and Sergeant Michael Donegan.
Brelo has been suspended without pay in light of the charges. The supervisors will be placed on restricted duty pending the outcome of the case.
The chase started in downtown Cleveland and ended in East Cleveland. It involved nearly 100 police officers, 15 supervisors and more than 60 cruisers.
The pursuit happened when an officer outside the Justice Center said someone in the suspects’ car fired a shot at him. Officers chased the car for more than 22 minutes. The chase ended when 13 officers fired 137 shots at the two suspects.
The suspects, Timothy Russell and Malissa Williams, died. No weapon was found in their car.
Sixty-four of the officers were previously found guilty of administrative violations in the chase.
In a press conference held Friday afternoon, Police Chief Calvin Williams said in light of the chase, the division will begin using body cameras sometime this year to record all officers' actions.
In a separate press conference, Cleveland Police Patrolman's Association Union Head Jeff Follmer said Friday's announcement was disappointing.
"We feel the prosecutor's office steered us in one direction, one direction only in order to make other people happy," said Follmer.
"It doesn't mean that his rendition of events is an actual portrayal as to how things occurred," said Pat D'Angelo, CPPA attorney. "I will represent to you that the way Mr. McGinty presented what happened on Nov. 29 is a fairy tale. Events did not happen as he described."
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