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East Cleveland may file charges against Cleveland police in fatal shooting
City officials say misdemeanor charges are possible even though county declined to indict

Kevin Niedermier
East Cleveland may file charges against the the Cleveland police officers involved in this fatal shooting in East Cleveland in November, 2012.
Courtesy of WEWS
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UPDATE:  Last night, Mayor Gary Norton told that East Cleveland will not pursue charges against the 12 officers.

The city of East Cleveland may file charges against 12 Cleveland police officers who fired at two people who were fatally shot after a November, 2012 police chase. East Cleveland Mayor Gary Norton tells that since the shooting happened in his city charges are appropriate.

LISTEN: Lewis Katz talks about possible legal scenarios

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A Cuyahoga County grand jury decided not to charge 12 of the officers but did charge officer Michael Brelo with voluntary manslaughter. Last month county Judge John O’Donnell acquitted Brelo, and he could not be charged again. But if East Cleveland files misdemeanor charges against the other officers, Case Western Reserve University law professor Lewis Katz speculates that they could say that the Brelo verdict protects them.

“They might try to argue that Judge O’Donnell’s decision is the law of the case and that they were all acting in self-defense. But that too I’m not sure is a final decision on the other 12 officers.”

Katz adds that they could argue that since the county grand jury did not originally indict them, that proves they acted in self-defense. But because that was not determined in court, he says it may not be legally binding either.

Listener Comments:

Just three stories away from this one on the YAHOO news page is the story of a dead police officer murdered in the line of fire.

While some of these deaths are terrible scenarios gone bad, some of these "victims" were in a long line for an accident just waiting to happen.

These two had long run ins with the law I am told by court employees. If it wasn't this time it would have likely been the next. Can we please give these officers the benefit of the doubt? Some respect and some consideration?

Posted by: TJ Diamond (Cleveland) on June 6, 2015 6:06AM
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