13 Cleveland officers learning punishments in deadly chase, shooting

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CLEVELAND, Ohio -- The FOX 8 I-TEAM has learned the city of Cleveland will finally determine what internal punishments will be issued to the 13 police officers who fired 137 shots and killed two suspects after a long and massive chase in 2012.

We’ve confirmed papers have started going out to the officers outlining administrative charges.

A grand jury indicted Officer Michael Brelo. He reloaded his weapon multiple times, and he jumped on the hood of the suspects' car. But in May, a judge cleared him of manslaughter charges, in part, saying Cuyahoga County Prosecutors did not prove Brelo fired the fatal shots.

The I-TEAM has also learned the 13 officers getting hit with internal charges will have hearings in the near future before the Cleveland safety director. That means, if found guilty of any administrative violations, the punishment could be at least a suspension of ten days. The safety director also has the power to fire the officers.

Brelo , who is currently on unpaid leave, has a hearing in front of Director of Public Safety Sept. 14. He is facing numerous charges including violating division training protocol by leaving his zone car and firing his service weapon while running out in the open.

He was acquitted on manslaughter charges in May. Union officials said Brelo should be brought back to work, and insist he was doing what he had to do that night to save his life.

"We have anticipated the issuance of departmental charges against out 13 offices who have not yet faces discipline for their role in this chase. Our attorneys are reviewing each administrative charge for accuracy and appropriateness as we prepare to answer these charges during upcoming hearings with the Safety Director," said Cleveland Police Patrolmen's Association President Steve Loomis.

Cleveland police killed Timothy Russell and Malissa Williams after a chase that started in downtown Cleveland, and it didn’t end until it got to East Cleveland. The chase involved dozens of police cars from multiple departments. It began when an officer thought he heard a shot from that car. No gun was ever found with the suspects.

Cleveland previously issued disciplines to many officers for the chase.

Read more here.

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