CLEVELAND- The I-Team’s Bill Sheil reports that the City of Cleveland will pay $3 million to the families of two victims who died at the end of a police chase.
The families of Timothy Russell and Malissa Williams will reportedly receive $1.5 million apiece.
In November 2012, Russell was driving near the Justice Center downtown when his car apparently backfired, and a police officer apparently thought it was a gunshot.
What followed was an almost unbelievable chase that lasted almost a half hour through Cleveland and into East Cleveland and involved about 60 police cars.
In the end, Russell and Williams died as police fired 137 shots at them.
Neither victim was found with a weapon.
The Ohio Attorney General’s Office produced a report that included an animation sequence that showed Russell’s car was partially surrounded, and some of the officers were firing in the directions of each other.
Why Russell did not pull over is unclear, but police conduct during the chase not only led to this settlement, it also helped spark an ongoing Justice Department probe of Cleveland police.
The settlement could be filed in court as early as tomorrow.
Attorneys representing the families and the estate released the following statement Monday:
“The families eagerly await the results of the ongoing civil rights investigation of the Cleveland Police by the United States Department of Justice. They are hopeful that meaningful reforms regarding use of force and officer accountability will follow.”
Collectively the attorneys went on to state, “This shooting is one of the worst examples of police misconduct in American history. This settlement sends the clearest signal yet that real reform must be achieved inside the Cleveland Police Department.”