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Government & Politics

Five Cleveland Police Supervisors May Face Charges in East Cleveland

Prosecutor Tim McGinty
Former Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Tim McGinty lost re-election last year to Michael O'Malley after refusing to bring criminal charges against the 12 officers involved in the fatal shooting.

The Ohio Supreme Court says five Cleveland police supervisors may face trial in East Cleveland on misdemeanor dereliction of duty charges. For Ohio Public Radio, WCPN’s Nick Castele reports the supervisors were charged in connection with a 2012 cross-town chase that ended in 137 gunshots.

Cuyahoga County prosecutors accused the supervisors of failing to control the chase. It involved dozens of police cars and ended with the fatal shooting of an unarmed motorist and his passenger, Timothy Russell and Malissa Williams.

Originally, the supervisors were indicted in county common pleas court. After Officer Michael Brelo was acquitted in the shooting, prosecutors moved to charge the supervisors instead in East Cleveland, where the chase ended.

The supervisors argued East Cleveland lacked jurisdiction. An appeals court agreed. But a unanimous Ohio Supreme Court today reversed that ruling, saying the question of jurisdiction was up to East Cleveland’s municipal judge.