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Cleveland: More time needed for police chase, shooting review

12:38 PM, Jan 29, 2013   |    comments
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  • Photo from the night of the police-involved shooting in which two people were killed.
    
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  • CLEVELAND --  Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson says the city's administrative review of a November police chase and shooting that left two people dead is expanding and will require more time.

    Initially the city had hoped to have the results available by the end of January. But Mayor Jackson says the delay is due to the amount of evidence and the number of officers involved as well as additional time needed for BCI -- the state's crime lab -- to complete its separate criminal review. 

    The city and state are conducting separate investigations into the incident.  Cleveland's focus is on whether the department's procedures were followed.  BCI will focus on whether any criminal charges will be filed in the case.

    The results of BCI's review will be turned over to the Cuyahoga County Prosecutor's Office.

    The City now says 63 vehicles were involved in the chase in some capacity, 50 of which had automated vehicle locators.  That number includes vehicles used to block intersections and those that were called off at some point during the chase.  The City wants to interview 115 people including officers and dispatchers. 

    On Nov. 29, 2012, police fired 137 shots at two suspects in a police chase, killing them both.  The Cuyahoga County Medical Examiner says the driver, Timothy Russell, 43, died as a result of 23 gunshot wounds.  His passenger, Malissa Williams, 33, was struck by 24 bullets.  Both had evidence of cocaine in their systems.  Their deaths were ruled homicides.

    Protesters Monday night claim that the autopsy report released Friday was intended to discredit the chase suspects before investigators gave their full report. The Cuyahoga County Medical Examiner's Office disputes this claim, saying it is releasing the information based on public information requests from the media.

    Summary of administrative review to date:

    • The audio recordings from the Communications Control Section for all channels during the time of the pursuit have been listened to and transcribed. These communications have been tracked back to individual radios to match with the correct personnel.
    • Video recordings from several sources, including 205 St. Clair, RTA, the Cleveland Clinic, CPD dash cam, Convenient Store, Social Security Administrative Offices, Bratenahl Police dash cam and ODOT.
    • The automated vehicle locator (AVL) data for 94 cars in service during the time of the pursuit have been reviewed to confirm the locations of the vehicles and whether or not they were involved in the pursuit.
    • Duty reports for all 63 cars involved -- whether in active pursuit, blocking intersections, or any other involvement -- have been reviewed.
    • To date, supervisors from the 1st, 4th, and 5th Districts have been interviewed and the review is poised to move on to the 2nd and 3rd district supervisors, pending approval from BCI.
    • Formalization of general questions for both supervisors and for patrol officers has been completed.
    • Members of the review committee drove the pursuit route to view vehicular and pedestrian traffic, road conditions, lighting, and other conditions at the time of pursuit.
    • The Committee has reviewed general police orders on pursuit.

    WKYC-TV

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