As the East Cleveland Police Department continues its investigation into Thursday night's police chase and fatal shooting, NewsChannel 5 learned 13 police officers are now on administrative leave.
In a joint news conference Friday night held by both Cleveland and East Cleveland Police at Cleveland Police Headquarters, Chief Michael McGrath said the 13 officers were placed on leave for three days and that most of the offices are from Cleveland's Second District.
"It's really with a heavy heart just ... can't tell you how much this hurts the Cleveland Division of Police. We work so hard," said Chief McGrath on the investigation. He also expressed concern for the families of the victims involved, but Chief McGrath made it a point Friday night, to highlight what this means for the Cleveland Police Department.
Cleveland Deputy Chief of Field Operations Calvin Williams told reporters, "Basically right now we're entering a deployment plan for the Second District, where most of the involved officers are from. We have to ensure that the residents of the Second District continue to receive that same level of service before as before this incident took place."
Deputy Chief Williams went to the Second District Headquarters after Friday's news conference to speak with the on-coming shift as to what would happen next.
Officials at the Second District Headquarters told NewsChannel 5 a majority of the officers removed worked on the night shift and about four worked on the evening shift. NewsChannel 5 was also told units from other districts would most likely be brought in to fill in gaps as the investigation continues.
Those we talked to in the area of the Second District agreed with the removal of the 13 officers as part of the investigation, but the result of less police now on the streets did not exactly sit well with a few people.
"Living in that area, you know, it raises different areas of concern with me, you know as an individual for my family," said Michael Robinson. Another, Charlotte Mancini told NewsChannel 5, "Certainly we're always concerned, now more than ever and with the holiday season approaching, you know we hope that they find a way to replace those 13 officers."
Once the three day leave is over, Chief McGrath said the 13 will return to the Department under a "Restrictive Duty Status." The officers will then attend a Wellness Program where they will be evaluated and kept until the investigation is over.
Officials said part of that evaluation is on whether or not the officers involved followed procedure in this police chase and fatal shooting.
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