Deadly Chase Suspects Tested Positive for Drugs

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CLEVELAND-- Both suspects in the November 29 chase and police involved shooting had drugs in their system at the time of incident, according to Cuyahoga County Medical Examiner reports.

The reports were released Friday morning.

The reports reveal that Timothy Russell, the driver of the vehicle, and his passenger, Malissa Williams, both tested positive for cocaine.

The toxicology reports also stated that Russell, the driver of the car, had alcohol in his system, and Williams also tested positive for marijuana.

The chase started at the Justice Center in downtown Cleveland after a police officer said he thought someone in the suspect’s vehicle fired a shot at him.

Security video from RTA shows more than 50 cars involved in the chase at certain points.

Russell and Williams died after 13 officers fired 137 shots.

Police Union President Jeff Follmer said the officers’ actions are justified, and it is a possibility the two didn’t pull over because they had drugs in their system.

“We thought all along these two might be on something, and this confirms our thoughts,” Follmer said. “When you have cocaine, it makes you think irrationally, and it makes you do crazy things.”

Walter Jackson, Malissa Williams’ uncle, said he isn’t surprised by the results of the toxicology. But he said he doesn’t feel the chase and shooting were necessary.

“It still doesn’t justify them chasing them and firing 137 shots,” Jackson said.

The state Bureau of Criminal Identification and Investigation is conducting a criminal investigation. It is not known when they will finish.

The 13 officers who took part in the shooting remain on restricted duty.

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