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 - "I've been praying for this day since day one," said Dennis Ficker, fighting back tears.
News that the U.S. Justice Department is investigating the Cleveland Police Department and its use of excessive force provided relief and encouragement to Ficker and his ex-wife Bernadette Rolan.
"This is just a little light in our tunnel that we will get the justice we're looking for," said Rolan.
With the Justice Department's help, they're hopeful that the events surrounding their son Daniel Ficker's death will finally be disclosed.
"My last words to my son in his coffin were, ‘I will see this to the end,'" he said. "We will get justice for you."
Nearly two years ago, a uniformed, on-duty Cleveland police officer shot and killed the 25-year-old Parma resident after a brief altercation at Ficker's Parma home. A second off-duty officer was also involved. Both were investigating a burglary. The shooter wasn't charged, and the other officer was charged with a misdemeanor.
"He used to come up every Sunday morning before he'd go to church and tell me everything he planned on doing and different things he wrote and see if I liked it," said Shauna Smith, visibly emotional as she described her son Kenneth Smith.
An off-duty Cleveland police officer shot and killed Smith's only child last year in downtown Cleveland. Police said the 20-year-old refused to get out of a car and was reaching for a handgun when the officer pulled the trigger. That officer, who was reportedly drinking at a strip club that night, was never charged and no disciplinary action was taken.
"I'm glad that they're taking a look finally to hopefully get things resolved," said Smith.
The investigation provides her with a glimmer of hope amongst so much pain of losing her son.
"I really miss our relationship," she 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.