NAACP holds forum on Cleveland police chase, shooting

East Cleveland officials update CPD chase at forum

EAST CLEVELAND, Ohio - About 200 people filed into the Shaw High School auditorium in East Cleveland to hear Mayor Gary Norton, Jr. and East Cleveland Police Chief Ralph Spotts fill them in on where the Cleveland police chase investigation stands.

Norton said the FBI is overlooking things from a distance, but do plan to see if any civil rights were violated once the investigation is complete. Norton told the crowd the reason the East Cleveland Police Department called in the BCI to be the lead on the investigation is because of their resources.

"It's going to take a long time to put everything together," Spotts said. That was something the crowd did not like hearing. In fact, many asked why the officers involved in the shooting were not in jail until the outcome can be determined.

Spotts said for police involved in incidents like this, there is a process. He said not just in Cleveland or East Cleveland, but around the country.

"The biggest problem is that there were so many people involved," Spotts said.

An officer thought someone fired a shot as victims' car drove by the Justice Center. That tarted the 25-minute, 22-mile chase to East Cleveland.

During a question and answer session, we learned that the officer who said he heard a gun shot come out of the car driven by Timothy Russell was not involved in the shooting. That officer was on of the first people interviewed, according to police.

Spotts indicated that they have some results of the gun residue tests back, but the final results have not come in yet. Police said 137 rounds were fired at the car driven by Russell, while Malissa Williams was a passenger. Both were killed and no shell casings were found inside of the car.

Before the forum began, members of the Black on Black Crime group marched into the auditorium chanting one number at a time. The group started with one and end with 137 as they stomped of their feet. Next, they placed a coffin in the front row where the families of Russell and Williams sat.

Funeral services for Williams, 30, are on Saturday.

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