Cleveland police, chase shooting investigations nearing end

8:00 PM, Jan 9, 2013   |    comments
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CLEVELAND -- Both investigations into last year's massive Cleveland police chase that ended in a volley of gunfire killing two people should be done by the end of the month.

Cleveland City Council held a hearing Wednesday morning on the chase and shooting. Council members grilled Safety Director Martin Flask and Police Chief Michael McGrath.

Attorney General Mike DeWine is leading an investigation into the use of deadly force. Evidence he gathered will be presented to Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Tim McGinty to evaluate for possible criminal charges.

The police department is also conducting an investigation to see if the chase and shooting violated any procedures or regulations.

Specific details of the incident are still being kept under wraps until the investigations are finished.

Timothy Russell, 43, and Malissa Williams, 30, died as a result of the shooting that followed the chase.
During the shooting, 13 police officers fired 137 shots. The chase went 22 miles andlasted 23 minutes. RTA surveillance videos first broadcast by Channel 3 showed 51 police vehicles in pursuit during the chase prior to the shooting.

Safety Director Flask said the city has been unsuccessful in getting Cuyahoga County police departments to approve a county-wide chase policy. Only 17 of 59 departments have approved a plan thus far.

Activists stood in protest throughout the hearing. Later they left chanting,"137 shots, No justice, No peace."

Group leader Art McKoy charged gun residue tests that exonerate the victims are being suppressed.

Police Union President Jeff Follmer said officers involved and their families are under great stress and want the investigations concluded quickly. He predicted they will be exonerated.

Some council members praised Mayor Jackson and police brass for handling the volatile situation with professionalism and transparency.

Safety Director Flask repeated a pledge that all future deadly police shootings will be conducted by an outside agency saying," It's a matter of trust."

Related: Police chase footage released



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