An entire year has gone by and 63 patrol officers who violated orders and department rules, were suspended, according to the city’s police chief.
As a result of the chase a fleeing driver and passenger were killed when the officers fired 137 shots at them in a 23-minute chase that involved five dozen cruisers and wove through residential neighborhoods before ending in gunfire.
The suspensions were the result of disciplinary hearings, and violations ranged from insubordination to driving too fast during the chase, according to Police Chief Michael McGrath
The initial review found that 75 patrol officers violated orders, however the but the number was reduced to 64 officers. All but one received a suspension, with the longest being 10 days, McGrath said.
None of the violations was so serious it warranted termination. Some of the officers received a written warning.
Police previously announced punishments for 12 supervisors stemming from the chase. One sergeant was fired. A captain and lieutenant were demoted, and nine sergeants were suspended.
The chase began last November when an officer thought he heard a gunshot from a car speeding by the police station in downtown Cleveland at during the late night hours. The officer jumped into his patrol car and radioed for help. The chase went through neighborhoods, onto Interstate 90, and eventually ended in East Cleveland.
Driver Timothy Russell, 43, was shot 23 times and passenger Malissa Williams, 30, was shot 24 times..
McGrath said Tuesday that some of the officers continued the chase after being told to stop because they thought an officer was in trouble. He said the officers who were disciplined were honest and professional during the review process. He also said police supervisors failed to take charge of the chase and allowed it to escalate.
The union has said the shootings were justified because the driver tried to ram an officer.