CLEVELAND - There was a dramatic turn in the criminal case against five Cleveland police supervisors on Friday.
The county prosecutor’s office is now asking for the charges to be dismissed in the Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Court. The motion to dismiss charges was filed Friday, but this doesn’t mean the supervisors won’t face criminal charges.
Assistant Prosecutor Rick Bell said the dismissal in common pleas court will streamline the legal process so the officers can face the charges in East Cleveland Municipal Court.
The five supervisors are facing charges for their action in the Nov. 29, 2012 chase and shooting that claimed the lives of two suspects, Timothy Russell and Malissa Williams.
Attorney David Grant, who represents one of the supervisors, said they will argue against the dismissal.
“I think again it is a blanket case of forum shopping. They think they have a greater chance of winning in East Cleveland than here in common pleas court, where it should be heard,” Grant said. He added that prosecutors did not decide to try and move the case until Officer Michael Brelo was found not guilty of manslaughter charges for his role in that chase.
But Bell disagreed, saying prosecutors wanted to try the supervisors' case with Brelo’s, but the defense asked for them to be separated.
Bell said the supervisors cases are misdemeanors and should be heard in a municipal court.
Police union officials have said officers acted properly during the chase.
“We understand the union and the defense have always said this is the perfect chase,” Bell said. “If it is the perfect chase, than that defense will fly in the city of East Cleveland.”