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 - Ohio Attorney General Mike Dewine is asking for the public's help in the investigation involving 13 Cleveland police officers who fired 137 rounds into a car driven by Timothy Russell last week.
Russell, 43, was killed along with Malissa Williams, 30, after the two led police on a nearly 25-minute chase from Cleveland to East Cleveland. An officer along with another woman said they heard a shot being fired and believed it came from the car Russell was driving.
"Our BCI experts will aggressively and fairly piece together the facts from the evidence," DeWine said. "Some of those facts may come from witnesses who haven't yet come forward to share what they know. I encourage anyone who thinks they might have some information that could help call the Attorney General's BCI."
Eighteen BCI staff members, including 16 agents, have been dedicated solely to this case. The AG's office said witnesses are being interviewed; they are reviewing video camera footage, and processing evidence. The information, when complete, will be turned into newly-elected Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Tim McGinty's office.
New video released from the day of the shooting does not show much. It was taped sometime between 10 p.m. and 11 p.m. Nov. 29. It shows an officer pulling up in front of a building on St. Clair Avenue and talking with someone. Moments later, the officer is seen rushing to his cruiser then pulling a U-turn.
East Cleveland police said there was not a gun in Russell's car. They also did not find any shell cases.
Gunshot residue tests have not been released. DeWine's office would not say if the test was completed.
The investigation will answer if the officers involved used excessive force.
Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson had new rules put in place in 2006. Just before he took office, there were five police officer-involved shootings, with four resulting in death.
The policy states, "Officers shall not unreasonably place themselves in a position where a threat of imminent danger or death or physical injury is created when attempting to stop a motor vehicle or apprehend a felony suspect."
Whether the officers involved violated that policy is yet to be determined.
"So even if it's determined you are justified because your life was in danger, that don't mean that you're getting of scot-free," Jackson 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.