Appeals Court Rules Case Against Cleveland Police Can't Move Forward in East Cleveland

Police fired 137 gunshots at Timothy Russell's Chevy Malibu, photographed by the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation.
Police fired 137 gunshots at Timothy Russell's Chevy Malibu, photographed by the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation.
Featured Audio

by Nick Castele

An Ohio appeals court says a misdemeanor case against five Cleveland police supervisors cannot proceed in East Cleveland municipal court.

The supervisors had been charged with dereliction of duty in connection with a cross-town car chase in 2012 that ended in a fatal shooting.

A grand jury originally indicted the supervisors in May 2014. At the same time, Officer Michael Brelo was indicted on manslaughter charges for joining in the 137-round shooting that killed a driver and his passenger.

Brelo was acquitted in Cuyahoga County common pleas court last year.

The case against the supervisors was scheduled to begin shortly afterward in the same court. Instead, they were charged in municipal court in East Cleveland, where the shooting took place. Prosecutors had the original charges dismissed.

After a months-long appeals process, the court late last week ruled that East Cleveland’s judge does not have jurisdiction—throwing into question what will become of the case.

Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Timothy McGinty responded to the news in a brief statement through a spokesman.

“The Prosecutor’s Office has repeatedly attempted to bring this case to trial for almost two years,” the statement reads. “We attempted to try the case with Officer Brelo, without Brelo, before Brelo and after Brelo.  At every step we were met with delay and resistance from the defense.”

Two attorneys for the supervisors did not respond to a request for comment left with their law office. 

Support Provided By