CLEVELAND -- Mayor Frank Jackson is criticizing Attorney General Mike DeWine's handling of the state's investigation into a deadly police chase and shooting last November that ended with the deaths of two people.
Mayor Jackson called a special news conference in his office this morning and asked only a select group of reporters to attend, including WKYC's Russ Mitchell.
Specifically, Mayor Jackson is questioning whether DeWine's decision to release interviews, photos, video and other items from the investigation has tainted the role of due process for the officers and victims.
"The Attorney General doing what he did really damaged the credibility of the process and in doing that tainted the outcome regardless what the conclusion is. Look, I don't have an opinion as to the innocence or guilt of these police officers because I wasn't there. That is why you rely on due process. But I would love at the end of all this, whether I agreed with the outcome or not, to say you know there's a process in place here that is really something that is credible," said Mayor Jackson.
Timothy Russell and Malissa Williams died after a chase with police on the night of November 29, 2012 ended in a hail of gunfire. DeWine's office determined 137 shots were fired at the car Russell was driving. Both Russell and Williams were struck more than twenty times. They were not armed.
DeWine's office handled the criminal investigation into the chase and handed the evidence over to Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Tim McGinty's office to determine if criminal charges are warranted.
The mayor's news conference comes just days after the city released details on the punishments handed out to 11 police supervisors who were on duty that night. The city's review only looked at whether police departmental procedures were followed.
DeWine released his office's findings on Feb. 5. He called the chase and shooting the result of a "systemic failure" within the police department.
Channel 3's Russ Mitchell contacted Attorney General DeWine for his reaction to the mayor's criticism.
DeWine said he is "dumbfounded by the mayor's comments. I was asked to investigate. We were very careful. I don't know how anyone can look at our investigation and not conclude there was a systemic failure on that night in the Cleveland Police Department."
Russ Mitchell will have more on this story tonight on Channel 3 News beginning at 6 p.m.