Cleveland Cops Indicted For Car Chase That Started Over Nothing and Ended With a Fatal Police Shooting

shot by copsCleveland PDSix cops from the Cleveland Police Department (CPD) were indicted on charges related to a car chase that began when a cop likely mistook the sound of an engine firing for gun shots and ended with 13 cops firing 137 rounds into the car, killing Timothy Russell, the unarmed driver, and Malissa Williams, his passenger.

Five of the cops were charged with dereliction of duty. They are supervisors accused of allowing the chase, which involved up to 104 of the 227 cops on duty at the time, to get out of control. The sixth cop, Michael Brelo, was charged with manslaughter. He is accused of standing on the hood of Russell's car after the chase and firing at least 15 shots through the windshield. Sixty three cops were suspended for up to ten days last year, although that included none of the 13 cops involved in the actual shooting, who were then under investigation. One supervisor was eventually fired.

As an animation created by the Ohio attorney general’s office showed, 12 other cops fired 122 shots at the car, with one cop shooting 49 rounds, but none of them were indicted. The county prosecutor explained that Brelo’s actions were "a stop-and-shoot—no longer a chase-and shoot," and that the "law does not allow for a stop-and-shoot," citing a recent Supreme Court decision that found in favor of cops using deadly force to end a car chase.

In its report, the Associated Press called Russell and Williams "suspects," even though no evidence was found that either of them had fired a weapon toward an officer (the claim that began the deadly chase), nor even that anyone had fired any gun in the vicinity of the cop who claimed he heard it. They were neither suspected nor accused of any specific crime by the gaggle of cops who pursued them—merely of trying to elude them.

The city of Cleveland asked the U.S. Department of Justice to review police policies after the chase and shooting. That review continues.

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  • ||

    began when a cop likely mistook the sound of an engine firing for gun shots

    It was actually Warty farting. This happens in Cleveland all the time. He's going to do it to Johnny Football at Browns games this season too.

  • Trouser-Pod||

    "One more outburst like that, and I'll clear stadium!"

  • Steve G||

    standing on the hood of Russell's car after the chase and firing at least 15 shots through the windshield

    Took it to a whole 'nother level.

  • ||

    Sarah Connor: [She is handed the vest and she feels it] What about when he punched through the wind shield?

    Detective Vukovich: He was probably on PCP. Broke every bone in his hand and wouldn't feel it for hours. There was this guy once, you see this scar?

  • ||

    In his defense, though, I bet that looked fucking badass.

  • WTF||

    And he went home safely that night. It's all that matters.

  • EDG reppin' LBC||

    ...standing on the hood of Russell's car after the chase and firing at least 15 shots through the windshield...

    ...and then ejaculated in his shorts.

  • Rich||

    What did you think the "15 shots" were?

    And … the communing squirrels are BACK. 8-(

  • Rich||

    The *commenting* squirrels, too!

  • The Late P Brooks||

    No depraved indifference?

  • sarcasmic||

    Depraved indifference is a job requirement.

  • Paul.||

    with one cop shooting 49 rounds

    Sounds like Cleveland PD could use a magazine limit.

  • The Late P Brooks||

    with one cop shooting 49 rounds

    Two reloads (at minimum). He must have thought the dadgum TERMINATOR was driving the car.

  • Scruffy Nerfherder||

    He just understood his own capacity for accuracy

  • R C Dean||

    Why isn't every cop who shot charged with manslaughter?

    Or, at least, every cop who's gun left a slug in the victims? Was Brelo the only one who actually shot someone?

  • Brandon||

    These are cops after all, R C, you have to make some allowance for the roid rage and animal bloodlust.

  • BilboTeabaggins||

    Car's backfiring sounds nothing like a gunshot to a trained ear, which you would assume cops are (I know, I know).

    "This is the AK-47 assault rifle, the preferred weapon of your enemy, and it makes a very distinctive sound when fired at you, so remember it. "

  • ||

    Car's backfiring sounds nothing like a gunshot to a trained ear

    Even to an untrained ear, they don't sound much alike.

    Missed in the article was, not only were no shots fired, but the presumption of guilt with regard to the discharge.

    Somebody shows up in my house and I *actually discharge my firearm* while fleeing and the cops chase me down and kill me and my family while the actual criminals get away. SOP?

  • The Late P Brooks||

    Somebody, somewhere in the Greater Cleveland Metro Area, was committing a felony at the time. That guy should be charged with the killings.

  • ||

    A civilian, somewhere in the Greater Cleveland Metro Area, was committing a felony

    Lest you blame a fellow officer for burning a baby with the bathwater.

  • Ahem'||

    Or a flash bang grenade.

  • Rich||

    The county prosecutor explained that Brelo’s actions were "a stop-and-shoot -- no longer a chase-and shoot," and that the "law does not allow for a stop-and-shoot"

    Well, *I'm* here to explain that Brelo’s actions were, um, a razzymatazzy -- no longer a chase-and shoot, and that the law has never even heard of a razzymatazzy".

    Of course, I'm not a lawyer.

  • Brandon||

    Of course, I'm not a lawyer.

    Coulda fooled me.

  • Rich||

    That's why my first consultation is free.

  • pan fried wylie||

    Needs more Zazz.

  • BakedPenguin||

  • Homple||

    Do they test cops for steroids or other drugs? Is it humanly possible to go that whack-assed berserk without pharmacological assistance?

  • Rich||

    I trust you've never seen "The Gauntlet"?

  • Rich||

    Cops Indicted For Car Chase That Started Over Nothing

    "Nothing"?! Possible shots fired is "NOTHING"?!

  • tarran||

    It is nothing, when no shots were actually fired.

  • antisocial-ist||

    Every sentence in this article reads like some kind of strange science experiment. " What if, instead of hiring human beings for cops, we just got a bunch of meth crazed gorillas?"
    Well, now we know the answer to that question.

  • ||

    I don't see the problem. 2 black guys in a car? OBVIOUSLY this requires the attentions of over 100 cops and the discharge of 137 rounds into the 2 criminals. I mean, they might possibly have gotten out of the car at some point...

    And fleeing from the police is a CRIME. The police are our friends and protectors. They shouldn't be treated like armed psychopaths who will hunt down and kill people (well, black people anyway, not upstanding white citizens) for merely driving a car at night...

  • Mainer2||

    The one on the left is definitely guilty of something.

  • BuSab Agent||

    They shouldn't be treated like armed psychopaths who will hunt down and kill people (well, black people anyway, not upstanding white citizens) for merely driving a car at night...

    Don't be fooled. LEO's are opportunistic predators. While it is true their preferred prey are young black men and dogs, they have no problem with taking down white and/or Asian women and the mentally disabled if no black men or dogs are in the vicinity.

  • Mainer2||

    Just two weeks ago a cop was shot in New Hampshire, and I was in the vicinity when it happened. After the first three cops cars went by at extremely high speed, I knew, Just Knew it had to be a cop shot. So I pulled into local business to be get off the road for safety sake, and watched as two or three dozen more cops went by on a two lane highway, at rush hour, at what must have been 80 or 90 miles an hour. Totally putting everyone else at risk.

  • EDG reppin' LBC||

    Apparently my neighbor had a fire in his apartment last weekend. So, it's like 3AM, and I wake up to hear radio chatter and a bunch of people lumbering around, and talking real loud outside my bedroom window. I didn't know they were firepigs, and assumed they were lawpigs. I woke up my wife and told her we needed to hit the deck. I was afraid the lawpigs were going to start firing into doors, walls, windows, whatever. Luckily, it took about 10 seconds to figure out they were firepigs. Point of the story is, yeah when cops are swarming/congregating, get away and get down.

  • Jordan||

    Thank god they weren't War Pigs.

  • gimmeasammich||

    +1 Sorcerer of death's construction

  • sarcasmic||

    I actually have a small amount of respect for firemen. I had a lot of respect when they were mostly volunteers instead of overpaid layabouts who occasionally go for a ride, but I have infinitely more respect for them than I do for the police.

    I called nine eleven yesterday. Drove past a dead tree that had fallen on some power lines and was smoking. After a couple minutes of ringing someone answered to tell me that they'd already gotten a call, and that the firemen would be arriving momentarily. Dunno what happened after that. I was far away by that point.

  • Raven Nation||

    There was a cop shot in western CO last month. His partner returned fire and killed the per. After the cop was transported, the CHP kept I70 from Glenwood Springs to about Idaho Falls closed in both directions for about 3 hours. It's the only highway from western CO to Denver.

  • Plàya Manhattan.||

    George Jung just got released from prison early. That is all.

  • Longtorso, Johnny||

    I feel let down, again, by Cleveland.

  • Andrew S.||

    Indictments no longer make me hopeful. What are the odds the officer charged with manslaughter is convicted? I'm not sure they're above zero.

  • Dances-with-Trolls||

    Officer Friendly a jury of your peers has found you guilty. You are hereby sentenced to 30 days of Paid Vacation and 100 hours of Further Training. During this time you will be prohibited from shooting dogs or using the phrase "Stop Resisting," and may God have mercy on your soul.

  • Chewbama||

    ...standing on the hood of Russell's car after the chase and firing at least 15 shots through the windshield...

    "It's beautiful, man! Beautiful!"

  • PACW||

    How long ago was it that I would read a story like this and wonder why so-called innocent people would flee from the cops? I want to shoot the messenger and blame Reason for my loss of faith in LEO.

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