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Video: Ohio Officers Under Fire for Deadly Pursuit Shooting

December 04, 2012  | 

VIDEO: Radio Traffic from Deadly Cleveland Shooting

Police dispatch traffic reveals contradictory information about the actions of two suspects who died in a hail of police gunfire late Thursday in East Cleveland.

Officers from the Cleveland Police Deparment, Bratenahl Police Department, and East Cleveland Police Department believed the two suspects were armed and had fired at police when 13 cops fired 137 rounds at Malissa Williams, 30, and Timothy Russell, 43. Williams was hit 24 times and Russell was hit 23 times, reports the Cleveland Plain Dealer.

Officers fatally shot the two after a 20-minute pursuit that began at the Cleveland Justice Center at about 10:30 p.m. and ended at Heritage Middle School.

Early in the pursuit, Cleveland officers can be heard warning dispatchers that the suspects are armed, reports WYKC. "He's pointing a gun out the back window," one officer can be heard saying. Another officer said the passenger was "point a firearm."

Toward the end of the pursuit, other officers give differing descriptions. An officer says a vehicle occupant "does not have a gun," but instead is wearing a pair of black gloves. Another officer reports a round being fired.

Cleveland Police Chief Michael McGrath has called it a "very regrettable situation, not just for the community but for the police department," at a news conference Friday. McGrath has asked for federal assistance in the shooting investigation, a move that has rankled police union officials, reports the Plain Dealer.

The shooting has raised the racial temperature in Cleveland. The two suspects were black and 12 of the 13 officers were white. One was Latino. Protesters have called the shooting a "lynching" and compared it with the deaths of Depression-era robbers Bonnie and Clyde, reports the Plain Dealer.

The radio traffic raised an additional question about the shooting. Two Cleveland Police supervisors can be heard on dispatch audio attempting to terminate the pursuit about five minutes before the shooting.

Russell, who was driving the 1979 Chevrolet Malibu SS, has an extensive criminal record.

Comments (12)

Displaying 1 - 12 of 12

Jason J @ 12/4/2012 6:11 PM

You think maybe you might want to double-check your video links? None of which allow me to see the video...they redirect to the same article...

DEADMAN @ 12/4/2012 6:55 PM

It looks like Mcgrath,chief and flask,safety director are not even waiting for a preliminary investigation,they're just throwing their officers to the wolves(The Feds).They're pulling a Pontius Pilate and washing their hands of the whole affair,how can they work for spineless politicians like these?They really didn't conduct the interview,the mayor did and he just talked about violations of rules and regulations,setting the city and the officers up for lawsuit.Both,the chief and the safety director should go,they're both double-dipping anyhow,collecting a salary and a pension and the don't earn either.Together,they're both costing the city and state big bucks for mis-management.

Slag @ 12/4/2012 8:32 PM

An exclusive video has been produced of the arrest of malissa williams in the back seat of a police car making threats to shoot and kill officers just one week prior when she was arrested on a warrant. And Russell was involved in a chase in 2011, Willowick police chased him and it ended with him wrecking out dont judge this officers to quick they did their jobs.

Steve S @ 12/5/2012 4:48 AM

Were weapons found in the car? Had they been fired?

B. Furr @ 12/5/2012 7:20 AM

43 hits, 137 shots fired, 34%. Not bad for a stressful situation. I presume the bad guys died at the scene.

Fed Cop @ 12/5/2012 7:23 AM

Monday morning quarterbacking. You have several officers saying they saw a weapon, one said a weapon was fired during the pursuit, and them radio traffic said subject was loading a weapon. I guess you wait to have someone on the LEO side take the first round before you return fire. It's getting to the point that determinations are being made after the fact, and that policy will change the ROE similar to our military's ROE, the bad guys have to shoot (kill) first.

C.T. Carlson @ 12/5/2012 7:44 AM

Turning the investigation over to the feds is a good idea in this case. The feds will do a full investigation without local political influence. When the Officers are cleared, there will be no question of a department cover up. Good move Chief.

Scott @ 12/6/2012 5:30 AM

If they would have STOPPED and not attempted to evade arrest they would be in a jail cell instead of a casket. None of the media consider all the lives that were put in danger by these criminals in their attempt to flee police and escape. An officer has the right to use the amount of Force NECESSARY to execute an arrest. Had they stopped the car and placed their hands in plain view they would be alive today. GOOD JOB Cleveland PD. lesson learned is don't run and you won't die.

RICHARD ISAACS @ 12/6/2012 5:23 PM


Colin @ 12/7/2012 5:06 AM

"Two Cleveland Police supervisors can be heard on dispatch audio attempting to terminate the pursuit", (not the dispatcher) I agree with Scott, don't be stupid and run, and you won't risk dying. I don't necessarily agree with 34% being good or even not bad. Training is invaluable for stressful situations, but you have to train how the real world throws it at you not paper standing still. Grab some guys from swat and get them to help you train on your own time. Not only might you save yourself and your fellow officers lives, but you have to ask yourself.....where did the other 94 rounds end up?

S.S @ 12/10/2012 10:57 AM

What a mess! But in the end you still have to outstanding citizens DEAD. Good job Officers.

Deadman @ 2/11/2013 6:02 PM

Nowhere in any of the stories regarding this incident ,did any body point out that the license was run,that it came back to a person with priors or that there was an outstanding warrant for the owner of the vehicle,this guy was a dirtbag and i shed no tear for him.I am only sorry that the mayor,chief and safety director saw fit to save face for themselves by throwing the responding officers under the bus to throw any responsiblity for this on the officers so that they could save face from the public.I wholeheartedly agree with the state of Ohios A.G. that there was a complete breakdown in leadership and training by the brass.By them running off at the mouth before even a preliminary investigation was completed,they were attempting to separate themselves from the flak and their giving open door to the news media to go after their officers.These top three individual open the door and exposed the city to a very large undeserved lawsuit.Their efforts mimmicked the blame everybody else in chief in d.c.,they must have taken lessons from him.

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