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Courts and Crime

Dozens of Cleveland police suspended for roles in November's deadly chase
The reprimands follow the disciplining of police supervisors who administrators say failed to control the officers

Kevin Niedermier
Two suspects were killed by Cleveland police after a lengthy pursuit last November. The city's internal investigation has resulted in dozens of officers being reprimanded.
Courtesy of WEWS
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Dozens of Cleveland police officers have disciplined for their roles in last November’s massive police chase that left two suspects dead. As WKSU’s reports, today’s action the second phase of the city’s internal investigation into the incident.

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Of the 104 officers involved the chase, 74 were facing disciplinary charges. Cleveland Police Chief Michael McGrath says none have been fired. But most have received some sort of reprimand.

“Sixty four of the 74 patrol officers were found guilty of administrative charges ranging from excessive speed, to insubordination, to failure to request permission to be involved in the pursuit.”

McGrath says a total of 178 suspension days were issued among the officers. The longest suspension is 10 days.Two officers received only written warnings.

Earlier this year, in the administrative review’s first phase, 12 police supervisors involved the chase were reprimanded. That included suspensions, demotions and one firing. McGrath says much of what happened the night of the chase resulted from the supervisor’s inaction.

Chief says supervisors mostly to blame for the incident
"I’m not here to lay blame on anyone; I’m here to develop the facts, make an assessment of myself down through the patrol officers to find out why this happen. I just know the facts are that the supervisors from that particular 2nd District didn’t engage.
"I wish I could say they didn’t engage because the telephone wires were down, or we had a power failure, but that’s not the case. They didn’t call radio, they didn’t check the AVL, they didn’t ask where their cars were at, they did not engage.”

McGrath says measures have been taken to improve the supervisors' performance. 

The 23-minute chase ended at a dead end in East Cleveland, where police fired 137 bullets at the two unarmed suspects, Timothy Russell and Malissa Williams. The Cuyahoga County Prosecutor is conducting a criminal investigation of the 13 officers who fired the shots that killed them to see if excessive force was used.                                                                   

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