Cleveland’s police chief says 12 supervisors will face disciplinary charges for their role in last November’s police chase that ended in the shooting deaths of two unarmed people. Ideastream’s Nick Castele reports.
There were 46 supervisors on duty the night of the chase. A dozen now face disciplinary charges – including a captain, a lieutenant and ten sergeants. They oversaw the chase that involved dozens of cars and officers.
Police Chief Michael McGrath says investigating the incident has been trying for everyone connected to it.
MCGRATH: “It’s difficult for the victims who died, it’s difficult for their families, it’s difficult for the community and it’s really difficult for the Division of Police. But this is a process to be fair, transparent, to try to figure out what happened and move forward and make things better. That's what this is all about.”
Supervisors next will attend disciplinary hearings expected to be scheduled for the middle of May.
Some of the officers could face a 10-day suspension, and others face the possibility of being fired, although all could receive lesser punishments.
Brian Betley, president of the Fraternal Order of Police, says it’s too early to say if supervisors will plead guilty, not guilty or no contest to their charges.
BETLEY: “What'll happen is we’ll have that hearing, those members will get their say to explain their actions or inactions and why they did what they did on that particular night and be able to answer to all the specifications in the charges.”
Betley says police deserve credit that no bystanders were hurt during the chase.
At an earlier press conference, McGrath said about 100 police officers also may have broken the rules, and could face discipline.
Also undecided is whether Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Tim McGinty will press criminal charges against any of the 13 officers who fired their weapons that night.