One year after deadly Cleveland police chase, questions remain about officers' actions

CLEVELAND - 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.

On November 29, 2012, Timothy Russell, 43, and Malissa Williams, 30, were killed after leading Cleveland police on a 23 minute chase.  

State investigators found 13 Cleveland police officers fired 137 shots into Russell’s Chevy Malibu as the chase ended in the parking lot of Heritage Middle School in East Cleveland.

The 13 officers were subpoenaed to appear before a grand jury earlier this month, according to the Cleveland Police Patrolman's Association.

The Cuyahoga County Prosecutor’s office had no comment on their investigation into whether the officers’ actions were justified.

Cleveland Police Chief Michael McGrath said the city will conduct its own review of the shooting after the county prosecutor’s investigation is finished.

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

The patrol officers are fighting the discipline. City officials said arbitration hearings will be held next spring.

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

The chase started in downtown Cleveland. A police officer thought he heard a gun shot coming from Russell's car. Investigators later determined the vehicle had backfired.

Print this article Back to Top

Comments