The police chase of Timothy Russell, driver, and Malissa Williams, passenger, began in East Cleveland when an unidentified cop said he heard the sound of a gun shot from Russell's car. No shell casings or gun was ever recovered. Twenty-five minutes later, in Cleveland, the chase ended with 13 officers firing 137 shots (ranging from 2 shots fired by one cop to 49 by another) in about 20 seconds, killing Russell and Williams.
The State Attorney General's office came in to conduct an investigation and Mike DeWine, the attorney general, released a report on the incident last week, and a few days later an animation (below) depicting the shooting. In concluding the investigation he handed it over to the county prosecutor, who is expected to go to a grand jury. The Cleveland police chief, of course, insists policies and procedures were in place, and if they were violated "some will be held accountable." DeWine's response, via the Cleveland Plain Dealer:
"This type of attitude, this head in the sand, refusal to look at the facts, could mean we could have this problem again, and next time we may have an innocent bystander who dies, or police officers who are killed, which could very well have happened this time," DeWine said. "People in leadership need to take responsibility. The police department system failed these officers and they failed the general public. You can't look at that report and come up with any other conclusion."
It's not one or two officers who made a mistake, DeWine said, but dozens of officers, which "means you have a systemic problem."
…DeWine did not make any determination of whether the officers' actions were legal or justified.
The Cleveland City Council introduced a resolution yesterday supporting the police chief.
Animation of the shooting: