Officers charged in deadly 2012 Cleveland Police chase - Western Mass News - WGGB/WSHM

Officers charged in deadly 2012 Cleveland Police chase

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Deadly police chase and shooting, 2012 Deadly police chase and shooting, 2012

Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Tim McGinty held a news conference at 4:15 Friday afternoon to announce an update in the deadly 2012 Cleveland Police chase that ended with the deaths of two people.

137 shots were fired. A total of 13 Cleveland Police Officers fired their guns in the incident. Officer Michael Brelo alone fired dozens of shots.

The Prosecutors's office has charged Officer Brelo with two counts of manslaughter. Brelo fired 49 of the 137 shots. 

The grand jury also indicted five supervisors; Sgt. Donegan, Sgt. Edens, Sgt. Daley, Sgt. Coleman, and Lt. Wilson, each on two misdemeanor counts of dereliction of duty. 

On November 29, 2012, police chased a car with two people from Cleveland to East Cleveland. Officers first saw the car speeding and heard what appeared to be a gunshot coming from it.

The driver refused to stop, and officers reported seeing a weapon in the car, but no gun was ever found. The 28-minute chase ended with officers firing shots into the car, killing the driver, Timothy Russell and the passenger, Malissa Williams.

Lawyers for the families say it was excessive force and have filed a lawsuit against the city, the officers and their bosses.

Lawyers for the city say: "It is the reasonableness of each officer's split-second judgement to use deadly force., not the reasonableness of the police pursuit."

The city wants the suit dismissed, and officers deny the allegations in the suit. The city claims officer statements are "mischaracterized."

Civil rights attorney David Malik is still reviewing the response on behalf of relatives of the people killed.

Statement issued by David Malik and Tyrone Reed, attorneys for the family of Malissa Williams:

"The Williams family would like to sincerely thank the Cuyahoga County Prosecutor's Office.

We feel there is an opportunity for justice to be served. We also plan to move forward with our Complaint against the named defendants. But more importantly, we would like to reiterate that this is an opportunity for the community to collaborate and come together--not to be divided. 

Now is the time for us to join and have positive dialogue about solutions. We need to figure out how the police department can work better with the community and not against them.

This is a time for community solidarity in Northeast Ohio. We miss Malissa everyday. We also extend our sympathies to the family of Timothy Russell. 

But as Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., once said, "We must accept finite disappointment, but never lose infinite hope."

Dr. King also said, "Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that."

Again, the Williams family asks for the Greater Cleveland community to come together and to let this tragedy be adjudicated in the courts."

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