Six Cleveland officers fired for fatal ‘137 shots’ car chase in 2012...

stringer bell
stringer bell Members Posts: 26,212 ✭✭✭✭✭
edited February 2016 in The Social Lounge
Six Cleveland police officers fired, six suspended for roles in deadly chase and shooting

CLEVELAND, Ohio -- Six Cleveland officers have been fired and six others suspended for their roles in a police chase and shooting that ended with the deaths of two unarmed people, city officials announced Tuesday.

The announcement came more than three years after the officers were involved in a 22-mile chase that began near the downtown Justice Center and ended in a middle school parking lot in East Cleveland on Nov. 29, 2012. Thirteen officers then fired a total of 137 shots at a Chevrolet Malibu, killing Timothy Russell and Malissa Williams.

The shooting lasted 19.3 seconds. The majority of the shots – approximately 120 – were fired in 10.3 seconds, officials said.

The case rocketed the city of Cleveland to the forefront of a national conversation on police use of force, predating the shooting of 12-year-old Tamir Rice by almost two years.

Officer Michael Brelo, the only officer to face criminal charges in the chase and shooting, is among the terminated officers. Brelo was acquitted in May of two counts of voluntary manslaughter. The acquittal resulted in days of mostly peaceful demonstrations that saw about 70 people arrested.

Public Safety Director Michael McGrath, who was police chief when the chase and shooting occurred, handed down the following discipline:

Patrolmen Michael Brelo, Wilfredo Diaz, Brian Sabolik and Michael Farley and detectives Christopher Ereg and Erin O'Donnell were fired.

Patrolmen Paul Box, Cynthia Moore, Randy Patrick and Scott Sistek and Detective William Salupo were suspended for 21 days.
Detective Michael Rinkus was suspended for 22 days.

One of the officers who fired shots that night retired before he could be disciplined, officials said. Detective Michael Demchak, who investigators said fired four shots, did not receive a disciplinary letter.

All of the disciplinary letters can be read at the bottom of this post.

Mayor Frank Jackson said he expects officers will file grievances to appeal their discipline, and that it could be several years before those appeals are resolved.

Cleveland Police Patrolmen's Association President Steve Loomis said Tuesday afternoon that the union has already filed grievances on behalf of the six fired officers, and will file more.

"This is unprecedented," Loomis said during a news conference. "Six people got fired after the state attorney general's office cleared them, a grand jury cleared them, [and] a Cuyahoga County judge cleared them. And yet the safety director finds enough there to make these kinds of decisions. It's absolutely politically motivated and insane."

The Critical Incident Review Committee completed its review of the chase in spring 2013. The review of the shooting was put on hold until the end of Brelo's trial and began in summer 2015. Disciplinary hearings were held during the fall.

"What we talked about from the beginning was that we would conduct a process that had due process and would be fair," Jackson said. "And I feel that we have done that."

McGrath said he reviewed hundreds of documents and other pieces of evidence before imposing discipline.

"We did not go through the motions on this," he said.

The officers faced a range of approximately a dozen administrative charges. The most serious accused them of creating a crossfire situation when they formed a semicircle around the Chevrolet and fired at it, said Commander James M. Chura, chairman of the city's Critical Incident Review Committee.

Officials presented diagrams that showed officers were in danger of shooting one another. Further adding to the danger was the fact their aims might have been compromised by factors including adrenaline built up during the lengthy car chase, darkness and flashing police lights, Chura said.

Other administrative charges included joining the car chase without a supervisor's permission and other training and firearm-safety violations.

The news conference included a lengthy overview of the city's review of the chase and shooting. Officials referenced documents, photos and video released in the aftermath of the shooting and during Brelo's trial.

"This incident is unprecedented," Chura said, noting the distance of the chase and the number of officers involved. "It took an investigation just as unprecedented to get to the truth."

In 2013, the city handed down discipline to a dozen supervisors and 74 officers involved in the chase, Chura said.

The chase began when an officer heard what he thought was a gunshot near the Justice Center. During Brelo's trial, prosecutors argued that was the sound of the Malibu backfiring.

Supervisors from the First, Third and Fifth police districts ordered their officers to end their involvement at various times during the chase, Chura said.

The shooting ended when the chase reached Heritage Middle School in East Cleveland. Officers followed the car into the school parking lot and proceeded to block the exit. The shooting began when the car almost hit an officer who was standing outside his cruiser.

Officials showed a video that depicted the actions each officer took during the shooting. The video did not identify the officers by name.

The chase and shooting led the mayor to ask the U.S. Department of Justice to investigate the police department's use of force. The federal investigation found the department too often used excessive force and failed to de-escalate situations. The city negotiated a consent decree that calls for changes in nearly every aspect of the department's policies.

The city of Cleveland also reviewed its police training and policies following the deadly chase and shooting. In 2014, the city implemented a new pursuit policy that includes barring officers from driving after a fleeing suspect unless the suspect is accused of committing a violent felony or driving intoxicated.


  • _Lefty
    _Lefty Members Posts: 6,564 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Grounds to fire, but not grounds to indict? Aight.
  • skpjr78
    skpjr78 Members Posts: 7,311 ✭✭✭✭✭
  • King_MOEbra
    King_MOEbra Members Posts: 8,323 ✭✭✭✭✭
    All of them cops should've been charged with murder.
  • dakidfrankie
    dakidfrankie Members Posts: 1,663 ✭✭✭✭✭
    ? they just got fired...they still alive and kicc'in
  • the dukester
    the dukester Members Posts: 1,822 ✭✭✭✭✭
    To serve protect.......and break a ? neck.

    - All Police departments
  • stringer bell
    stringer bell Members Posts: 26,212 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Cleveland police union president vows to get fired officers' jobs back

    CLEVELAND, Ohio -- The head of the union representing Cleveland's rank-and-file police officers vowed on Tuesday to overturn discipline handed out to 12 officers in connection with a 2012 chase and the shooting deaths of two unarmed people.

    Cleveland Police Patrolmen's Association President Steve Loomis blasted the firings of six officers and suspension of six others as "politically motivated and insane," and said the union has already filed grievances on behalf of the officers who were fired.

    "Now Loomis is going to be the bad guy because I'm going to go get their jobs back," Loomis said. "And I promise these guys are going to get their jobs back."

    Loomis, in a bombastic news conference at the union hall, accused city Safety Director Michael McGrath and other top safety officials of bowing to the "false narrative" surrounding police killings in the U.S. in handing out the discipline.

    McGrath announced that five officers, including patrolmen Michael Brelo, had been fired and six more officers had been suspended in connection for their roles in the Nov. 29, 2012 deaths of Timothy Russell and Malissa Williams.

    The officers, along with a 13th who retired late last year, fired a combined 137 shots into the car driven by Russell.

    Here are some takeaways from the news conference.

    Appealing the discipline

    Loomis said the union plans to file grievances for the officers who were suspended, and that the city has 20 days to respond to their complaint.

    He said the process of going through arbitration could take months or years.

    "Our goal is to get in front of an arbitrator who's not swayed by politics or any national discussion," Loomis said. "Politics in this city is absolutely appalling."

    'Systemic failure'

    Loomis referred to Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine's April 2013 statement that the incident resulted from a "systemic failure." Loomis asked why the officers who opened fire were disciplined, but then-Chief McGrath and then-Safety Director Martin Flask, who were responsible for the entire department at the time of the shooting, were promoted after the incident.

    "The buck stops with them," Loomis said.

    'Bad guys'

    Loomis argued several times that the shooting could have been avoided if Russell and Williams -- whom he called "bad guys" and "suspects high on ? and marijuana" -- had not fled from police officers who tried to stop them.

    "I'm going to get beat up for saying bad guys, but dammit, that's what it is," Loomis said. "Those folks had a choice to make and those folks didn't make it. Continuously."

    'Kangaroo Court'

    Loomis accused the city of conducting their investigation with the goal of firing as many officers as they could, and finding any way to get that done.

    "This was a kangaroo court, and they should be ashamed of it," Loomis said.

    Henry Hilow, a criminal defense attorney who represents officers in criminal matters, said in an interview after the news conference that the union had fought for McGrath to be removed from the process because he was police chief at the time of the incident.

    High cost of a slow probe

    The officers involved in the shooting have been on restricted duty since the shooting. All officers involved in a shooting are placed on restricted duty until the internal probe is completed.

    But, because the city and union agreed to halt the internal investigation until the criminal case against Brelo was over, the officers have been pulled off the streets for three years and two months.

    At the request of after the news conference, Loomis calculated that the city paid the officers a combined $2.2 million in salary, not counting benefits, to essentially sit at a desk.

    Typical pig mindset...
  • Cleveland7venty6
    Cleveland7venty6 Members Posts: 1,285 ✭✭✭✭✭
    on everything i love, i was honestly at the crime scene on the night it happened. ok, i was driving down the east cleveland part of lee rd, and seen all the police lights in the kirk middle school parking lot. But i was there. real east cleveland people know what im talking about because the school is on terrace but the parking lot stretches to lee
  • Swiffness!
    Swiffness! Members Posts: 10,128 ✭✭✭✭✭
    a decade or two ago these pigs woulda got promotions
  • sg85
    sg85 Members Posts: 6

    here is my video on cleveland residents voicing how they fell at a police meeting about the shooting....Also one of the victims relatives speaks at the meeting about how he has been targeted since the 137 shots.