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 - Cleveland Police Chief Michael McGrath announced the results of disciplinary hearings for patrol officers involved in the Nov. 29, 2012 deadly chase.
A review concerning the officers who took part in the shooting itself will not be complete until the criminal investigation by the Cuyahoga County Prosecutor's office is over.
McGrath said 277 officers were working that night and of those, 104 officers were involved with the pursuit in some capacity including blocking intersections or trying to catch up with the pursuit.
Of the 104 officers, 75 broke rules and 63 were suspended for speeding and failing to get permission to join the pursuit.
Four officers were given ten day suspensions, the rest were suspended between one and six days.
There were also two written warnings, nine letters of non-disciplinary letters on re-instruction and charges against three of the officers were dismissed.
The police union plans to fight the suspensions during arbitration hearings. Jeffrey Follmer from the Cleveland Police Patrolman's Association said the union has an 80 per cent success rate in having suspensions dismissed.
Follmer said officers who win their appeals will get paid for their time off.
District commanders gave the letters of suspension to the patrol officers Tuesday. Many of the officers will begin their suspensions immediately.
But so many patrol officers were suspended, some of the suspensions will have to be scheduled so there's no shortage of officers on the streets.
Disciplinary hearings started in August and September. McGrath said his deputy chiefs assisted him with the hearings for officers found in violation of departmental rules and regulations for their roles in the chase.
Public Safety Director Martin Flask held hearings for 26 patrol officers.
The charges against the officers involve insubordination, joining the chase without permission and falsifying duty records.
None of the violations are serious enough to warrant termination, McGrath said.
In June, one supervisor was fired, two were demoted and nine others suspended following disciplinary hearings about their involvement in the chase.
The Nov. 29 chase ended when 13 officers fired 137 shots at a car, killing Timothy Russell and Malissa Williams, who were inside.
The chief said a recent policy change that forbids officers from firing at or from moving vehicles may not have prevented the shootout. The policy change was the result of a comprehensive study of Cleveland police policies and procedures in regard to use of force. The study found the department's policies are sound and comprehensive.
Statistics show that from June 2006 until June 2013, use of force incidents by the Cleveland Police Department have declined.
As a result of the study, Chief McGrath plans to create a program to help any officer who was on an extended leave "assimilate" back into the department when they return. McGrath said the number of officers who have taken extended military leaves has increased since the start of the Iraq war.
McGrath also plans to make it easier to identify problem officers by creating a paperless system to monitor complaints and reports of worrisome behavior.
McGrath said the department will also change the way it trains supervisors starting in 2014. Supervisors will be separated from patrol officers during portions of their training and be given additional instruction on leadership and management practices.
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.