Cleveland Police reinstate 5 officers from 2012 deadly chase

Cleveland Police officers reinstated after controversial case

CLEVELAND - The Cleveland Police Department has reinstated five police officers who were involved in the high-profile police chase and shooting that killed Timothy Russell and Malissa Williams.

Cleveland police union president Steve Loomis confirmed the reinstatements to WKYC Thursday morning.

The five reinstated officers were fired in January 2016. They are:

  • Wilfredo Diaz
  • Brian Sabolik
  • Erin O'Donnell
  • Michael Farley
  • Christopher Ereg

A sixth officer, Michael Brelo, was also fired. He was tried separately and acquitted of two counts of voluntary manslaughter. In a statement, Loomis tells WKYC that the CPPA will no longer fight for the reinstatement of Brelo. 

"Our Executive Board and Board of Directors voted nearly unanimously to accept the arbitrators thoughtful decision. While he awarded our 5 officers the jobs back, he declined to award officer Brelo his job back or pay our returning officers back pay.  We defended officer Brelo to acquittal and wish him nothing but good luck in his future."

In June, an arbitrator recommended the five fired officers get their jobs back, though Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson said the city felt the terminations were justified and should be upheld.

Six Cleveland police officers were disciplined and six were fired for their role in the deadly chase and shooting in which two suspects were killed. A 13th officer retired. Officers fired 137 shots during the November 2012 chase that ended in East Cleveland.

Russell, 43, was struck by 23 bullets. Williams, 30, was struck 24 times. Both were unarmed.

RELATED | 6 officers fired, 6 disciplined for deadly 2012 police chase


© 2017 WKYC-TV


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