Cleveland-area pastors call for 'fair and unbiased investigation' into fatal police chase

CLEVELAND - Clergy from several Cleveland-area churches will hold a news conference on Tuesday to react to the police-involved shooting that left two people dead.

Representatives from United Pastors in Mission, the Baptist Ministers Conference and the Pastors Council will meet at noon at the Cuyahoga County Justice Center.

"Clergy are greatly concerned that the case is now being tried in the media and the emphasis has moved away from the criminal investigation. We need to let the criminal process continue and we are calling for a fair and unbiased investigation of criminal negligence and the possible use of excessive use of deadly force, " said Rev. Dr. Tony Minor, Executive Director of the United Pastors in Mission, in a news release on Monday.

On Nov. 29, Cleveland police officers chased two suspects through the city. The chase eventually ended near an East Cleveland middle school, where officers shot and killed Timothy Russell and his passenger, Malissa Williams.

Just last week, Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine released information on the chase, calling it a "systemic failure" in the Cleveland Police Department as police policies were not followed.

"It is the role of the officers that must remain the center of attention of the criminal investigation. All other discussions or finger pointing does not change the fact that a thorough investigation of the role of the officers is what is best for the city, family of the victims and all officers involved," Minor said.

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