NewsChannel5 Investigators have learned the City of Cleveland has hired an outside law firm to represent the city and 13 officers named in a federal lawsuit filed by the family members of the victims of the deadly Nov. 2012 police chase and shooting.
CLEVELAND - Cleveland's police chief spoke to council members on their public safety committee on a range of issues. He began by letting them know what the BCI, East Cleveland and Cuyahoga County Sheriff's Office is looking at while investigating the use of deadly force.
Chief Mike McGrath said components of the investigation include measuring the scene, radio transmissions and establishing a timeline and ballistic investigation among others. McGrath also said we should be able to know where an officer was standing when they fired their guns, killing Timothy Russell and Malissa Williams on the night of Nov. 29.
McGrath did not go into too much detail saying that the criminal investigation is not being handled by them. He did, however, go into detail regarding the police pursuit policy which states only two cars should be involved with a chase. But he disagrees with it.
"What the pursuit policy says is that where the pursuit starts, where it is initiated, that sector supervisor has control. He designates a primary and secondary car to back up. But there is also some wording in there regarding extenuating circumstances," McGrath explained in an impromptu news conference at city hall. "So until the investigation is complete by the administrative review committee, I don't currently know all the circumstances."
McGrath has not heard the audio tape from the night of the double shooting. He wants to stay away from the administrative committee in order to let them do their jobs without fear of his presence, he said. Although McGrath wants the committee to be wrapped up by the end of January, union representatives for the police patrolmen said no one has been interviewed.
McGrath said that should happen soon. "We didn't want to interview anyone while the criminal investigation was going on."
Councilman Zack Reed questioned why precinct commanders were on the nine member committee since some of the people they supervise we part of the chase.
"Bottom line, it was my decision and they are going to conduct a great administrative review with others on the committee," McGrath answered.
At the end of the hearing, members of Black on Black Crime, who stood for most of the hearing, chanted as they walked out, "137 shots. No justice, no peace." Art McKoy suggested there was another reason why council members did not bring up detailed information about the shooting investigation.
"Right now there is a cover-up!" he screamed in the hallway. "And we want justice."
This year police will receive pursuit training. It's something McGrath said was decided in October well before the chase began. The chief told council members that he was informed that the BCI investigation should be completed by the end of this month.
Councilman Kevin Conwell said when the committee meets again in two weeks they plan to call on newly elected Cuyahoga County Prosector Tim McGinty. He said McGinty can't comment on the case because he will be making a decision on it, but maybe they can talk about it "without talking about it," he said.
One year after a high-speed Cleveland police chase, questions remain about how the chase ended with a shootout that left two unarmed people dead.
Family members of the victims of the deadly 2012 Cleveland police chase have filed a lawsuit against the city and several police officers involved.
Cleveland Police Chief Michael McGrath says he foresees a new policy holding supervisors "more accountable" as a result of his review into the Nov. 29, 2012 police chase.
Cleveland Police Chief Michael McGrath announced Tuesday the results of disciplinary hearings for officers involved in the Nov. 29, 2012 deadly chase. 63 patrol officers have been suspended.
Turmoil in the Cleveland Police Department has hurt officer morale, invigorated a mayoral campaign and led to frank discussions about race.
NewsChannel5 investigators learned Cleveland Police Chief Michael McGrath will begin holding disciplinary hearings for officers involved in the Nov. 29 deadly chase Friday.
Disciplinary hearings began on Monday for Cleveland patrol officers facing charges related to the Nov. 29 police chase and shooting.
New details have emerged in the case of two Clevelanders gunned down last year by Cleveland police following a police chase throughout the city.
It was shortly after the Nov. 29 shooting deaths of Timothy Russell and Malissa Williams that East Cleveland Mayor Gary Norton asked something of his law director and prosecutor.