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 - The last of the 13 Cleveland police officers who fired their guns killing two people after a 25-minute chase 11 days ago have finished being interviewed by state investigators with the Bureau of Criminal Investigation.
Now, another two dozen officers who did not use deadly force, but were involved with the chase will be interviewed about what they saw on Nov. 29. That's when Timothy Russell and Malissa Williams were shot to death behind Heritage Middle School in East Cleveland.
Also on Wednesday, Jeff Follmer, the head of the Cleveland police officer's union, said counselors have been brought in to meet with the officers and their wives.
"It's stressful for the officers involved in deadly force. We had a team come from Dayton yesterday to show support to them. The city doesn't have anything in place where these officers can reach out, other than our employee assistance. We used to have a doctor they used to be able to go to, but she hasn't been replaced yet," Follmer said.
Meanwhile, Rev. Jawanza Colvin, pastor of Olivet Institutional Baptist Church in Cleveland, wrote a letter to the United States Department of Justice asking for an investigation into the chase and shooting. Rev. Colvin also wants federal investigators to review the Cleveland Police Department's patterns and practices.
Colvin said the federal review would not only restore trust and confidence for Cleveland residents, but helps officers who do a dangerous job by the rules everyday.
"And so for those officers who have stayed within the policies and procedures of the protocols that are set for them, we want to make sure they are not besmirched by, in any way, shape or form by the unlawful unwarranted and unjustified acts of a few, Rev. Colvin said.
The investigation could take several weeks.
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.