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Protesters: Chase suspects' autopsy results are character defamation

10:20 AM, Jan 29, 2013   |    comments
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EAST CLEVELAND, Ohio -- Protestors marched in East Cleveland Monday night, making claims that Cleveland Police are trying to discredit the two people killed in a high speed chase in November.

Ohio Attorney General Mike Dewine said early on that no information would be released until the investigation was complete.

The results of the attorney general's investigation are expected this week.

At a time when the Cleveland community is tapping it's foot in anticipation of a gunshot residue test, which might clear suspects Malissa williams and Timothy Russell, the suspect's drug tests have been released instead.

Family members and community activists are outraged.

Two months of simmering has brought a boil to the anger felt by community activists and family members of Williams and Russell.

"They killed my daughter, said Martha Williams, Malissa's mother. "I want to know why. I don't care what they say drugs in her system. That's irrelevant."

Last Friday, the Cuyahoga County Medical Examiner released autopsy results, which indicated that both Russell and Williams tested positive for cocaine. Williams also had marijuana in her system.

The information was actually released to actually assassinate their credibility -- that's all it was," said Walter Jackson, Malissa's uncle.

Not included in the autopsy was whether the two had any gunshot residue on them, which would prove whether either of the suspects fired on Cleveland Police. According to police, the alleged shots are what started last November's chase.

The chase ended with 13 officers firing 137 bullets, hitting Williams and Russell more then 20 times each.

The crowd Monday night repeatedly chanted the phrase, "No gun residue."

Two simultaneous investigations are underway. Attorney General Dewine's office is investigating the criminal case.

The City of Cleveland is investigating whether police policy was breached.

"We will do this in a transparent, honest and credible way," said Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson. 

Onlookers aren't convinced. Elected officials are now facing the same scrutiny as police.

Another recurring chant from the rally: "No truth, no justice."

The Cuyahoga County Medical Examiner's Office says it is not acting on behalf of attorney general. The autopsy was released at the request of the media. It is standard practice for the medical examiner to release public information when requested.

WKYC-TV

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