'Systemic failures' cited in deadly police chase
RICHFIELD, Ohio — Leadership and communications failures led to the chaotic police chase in Cleveland last fall that ended with 13 officers firing 137 rounds and killing two people who were likely unarmed, Ohio's attorney general said on Tuesday in reporting the results of an exhaustive investigation.
“It was total lack of control,” Attorney General Mike DeWine said during a news conference at the state crime laboratory.
He turned over the report to Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Timothy McGinty, who said he would take the case to a grand jury to determine if any of the officers should face criminal charges.
The report did not assign blame on any of the officers but said “systemic failures” in the Cleveland Police Department led to the escalation of the Nov. 29 chase and the fatal shootings of the car's driver, Timothy Russell, 43, and his 30-year-old passenger, Malissa Williams.
“Command failed, communications failed, the system failed,” DeWine said.
Patrick D'Angelo, the police union attorney, said the shooting would be found to be justified. The chase reflects the risks officers face daily, he said.
“The driver of the car tried to run over numerous police officers, he intentionally rammed other patrol cars and officers were in fear of their life, and they did what they were trained to do,” D'Angelo said.
A key question remained unanswered: Did the two people fleeing in the car have a weapon that was tossed out during the chase? DeWine said tests on the two and their vehicle showed traces of gunpowder but it wasn't conclusive on whether they had been armed or on whether the residue came from the extensive gunfire.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Hope dims for Fla. teens lost at sea
- Ohio cop indicted on murder charge in traffic-stop shooting
- GOP lawmakers, presidential candidates assail federal funding for Planned Parenthood
- Jailers: Texas woman discussed past suicide attempt during booking
- Trump goes on attack against Walker
- El Niño helps, harms economies
- Lawyers: Immigrant mothers coerced to wear ankle monitors in Texas
- Medicare patients’ outcomes improve