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.
CLEVELAND - Cleveland's police chief told members of city council this week that officers are involved in chases all the time and faced with using deadly force often.
"You know everyday Cleveland police officers, men and women are involved in pursuits." Chief Michael McGrath told Cleveland's safety committee during a public meeting Wednesday.
Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine said the department's chase policies didn't work during the pursuit that ended with officers shooting and killing two people. But if that's the case, why does the policy appear to work hundreds of times every year? That's a point Chief McGrath is trying to make.
"Most of the time it's resolved and we don't have any terrible incidents take place." McGrath said.
So NewsChannel5's Paul Kiska listened to an unrelated police pursuit in the days after the Nov. 29 chase.
"Pulled out of the parking lot driveway and took off."
That's how a police radio call started on Dec. 4 when Cleveland police officers from the fifth district noticed a man who they know legally shouldn't be driving.
The officer called out her location.
"Southbound on 152."
The dispatcher asked if a supervisor was listening.
"Any boss monitoring."
The officer continues to call out her location and gives her speed.
"Eastbound on Woodward going, give you a speed in a second, about 30 mph."
A supervisor asked what the chase was about, then quickly called it off.
"What's the chase for?"
"Traffic, he's just a known male."
"If it's just for traffic terminate the chase."
"OK, copy. We are terminating."
The officers asked the dispatcher to contact East Cleveland police as the driver sped away.
Then another supervisor advised the officers that they can just send the driver a summons to appear in court since they know who he is.
"You can summons him for failure to comply; you can ID him as is. You fill out the pursuit form and summon him in connection with that," the dispatcher said.
This chase was not the same scenario as the one under investigation, but it allowed the officers to move on to a higher priority call and could serve as a blueprint for doing a pursuit by the book.
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