CLEVELAND -- The Cleveland Police Patrolman's Association held a press conference Saturday in response to what they believed was a premature statement by the Cleveland Police Chief Michael McGrath.
Jeff Follmer, spokesperson for the CPPA, says the CPPA is disturbed by Chief McGrath's comments that were made Friday evening. The union believes the comments were made without having all the facts.
"For anyone who was not there to judge and without knowing all the facts or to blame anyone else but the two occupants of the car for their own death is ignorant and self serving," said Follmer.
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According to Follmer, the officers involved in the chase had reason to believe the suspects they were chasing were in possession of a weapon. He says that perception is proven by police radio transmissions that haven't been released yet.
Follmer added that the suspects attempted to use their vehicle as a weapon, ramming a police car and attempting to hit an officer. "They could have stopped at any time," said Follmer
13 officers were placed on administrative leave following the shooting pending further investigation.
The CPPA says the loss of those officers will put a strain on the department.
The police union wasn't the only one to comment on the incident.
Neighbors living near site said they heard the rapid gunfire. Many were afraid that stray bullets would enter their homes.