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CPD: 64 officers disciplined in 2012 police chase

10:55 PM, Oct 15, 2013   |    comments
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Video: 64 officers disciplined in 2012 police chase

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Cleveland Police Chase Shootout Investigation

WKYC: Extended coverage

 

Photos: AG releases images from police chase/shooting

 

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State’s findings at a glance

 

Video: AG DeWine details his findings

 

Video: Surveillance shows start of deadly chase

 

Video: New video released in police chase

 

PDF: State’s summary of findings for prosecutor

 

PDF: Chase/shooting timeline of events

 

PDF: City outlines supervisors’ punishments

 

PDF: ME report on Timothy Russell

 

PDF: ME report on Malissa Williams

CLEVELAND -- Cleveland Police Chief Michael McGrath says 64 patrol officers have been disciplined for breaking departmental rules in connection with a police chase in November 2012.

The officers were found to be in violation of such departmental rules as speeding, failure to obtain permission to join the chase and insubordination.

"That would be at the top. ... Insubordination came when officers were told to terminate by their supervisor and they failed to terminate the pursuit," he said.

It's believed to be the most Cleveland officers ever disciplined in connection with one incident.

Collectively the department handed out 178 suspension days, two written warnings, and nine nondisciplinary letters of reinstruction to the officers. The longest suspension handed out was 10 days.

One officer who broke departmental rules during the chase was disciplined but not suspended.

No officers were fired as a result of their involvement in the chase.

The head of the Cleveland Police Patrolman's Union called some of the penalties "excessive."

Jeff Follmer said there would be appeals, adding "I think when it comes to arbitration we are going to win hands down."

Earlier this year, the Police Department reviewed the supervisors involved in the chase. After disciplinary hearings, 12 supervisors received reprimands. Of that number, nine were suspended, two were demoted, and one supervisor was terminated.

McGrath again placed much responsibility on supervisors who did not take charge of the chase.

"If supervisors will engage, 90 percent of officers will comply with their orders," he said.

The Police Department's review has to date only focused on the administrative review of the supervisors and patrol officers involved in the Nov. 29 chase.  The Cuyahoga County prosecutor is reviewing the deadly force aspect of the chase to determine if criminal charges will be filed.

Joe Frolik, an office spokesman, said the office is almost done with its investigation.

It's unclear if any information has yet been presented to a grand jury.

The city says officers and supervisors involved in the deadly force aspect of the incident will receive administrative reviews after the prosecutor's office completes its criminal investigation.

And following that there will be an overall review of the incident and possible recommendations for changes in training and policies.

Mayor Frank Jackson knows many in the public are growing impatient with the long process.

"We're not delaying justice or denying it. ... We're not throwing police officers under the bus for political reasons or denying or covering up things that should have been done or were done wrong," he said.

EXPANDED COVERAGE | Deadly police chase

Timothy Russell and his passenger, Malissa Williams, died after the 23-minute police chase ended in a barrage of 137 gunshots in an East Cleveland parking lot. The Ohio Attorney General's Office determined that neither Russell nor Williams were armed that night. 

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