Sources: Grand jury investigation into deadly 2012 chase and shooting concludes Friday

CLEVELAND - Multiple sources tell NewsChannel5 the grand jury investigation into a deadly Cleveland police chase and shooting will conclude Friday.

On November 29, 2012, Cleveland Police engaged in 23-minute high-speed chase that ended with a shootout in East Cleveland.

Timothy Russell and Malissa Williams were killed after 13 officers fired 137 bullets into Russell’s car in the parking lot of Heritage Middle School on 14410 Terrace Road.

Their family members filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the city on the one-year anniversary of the incident.

The lawsuit says officers used “gratuitous, excessive and objectively unreasonable force.”

Cleveland Public Safety Director Michael McGrath has said the city will conduct its own review of the shooting after the grand jury finishes its investigation.

The department’s Critical Incident Review Committee finished its review of the chase last April leading to disciplinary action against the majority of the 104 officers who were involved in the incident.

In October, McGrath announced that 63 of the 104 officers involved in the chase would be suspended for one to 10 days for excessive speeding, insubordination and failure to get permission to join the pursuit.

The officers have appealed the discipline. City officials said arbitration hearings are scheduled for this spring.

McGrath has placed much of the blame for the incident on a handful of supervisors. In June 2013, he announced nine supervisors were suspended, two were demoted and one was fired following administrative hearings.

The one dozen supervisors have also appealed their discipline. Arbitration hearings for the supervisors wrapped up in May.

The Ohio Attorney General’s office conducted the official investigation into the chase.

Investigators found dozens of officers failed to follow to city policies, ignored their supervisors’ instructions and joined the chase without permission.

“We are dealing with a systemic failure in the Cleveland Police Department,” said DeWine during a Feb. 5, 2013 news conference.

The chase started near the Cuyahoga County Justice Center in downtown Cleveland. A Cleveland police officer thought he heard a gunshot coming from Russell's car. Investigators later determined the vehicle had backfired.  

Although many officers involved in the chase reported seeing Williams holding a gun, no weapons were found in Russell’s car or along the chase route.

The incident has led to changes in the department. Police Chief Calvin Williams announced a new chase policy March 6.

The policy review started before the chase. However,  Williams said,  "This new policy was put in place to make sure that events like (the chase) . . . don't happen again in the city."

The policy prohibits officers from joining a chase without permission and designates a controlling supervisor and scene supervisor to direct  vehicle pursuits.

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