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Cleveland Settles Lawsuit over November 2012 Police Chase and Fatal Shooting

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The city has reached a settlement with the families of two people pursued and killed by Cleveland police in 2012. But as ideastream’s Nick Castele reports, the case is not quite finished yet.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014 at 4:40 pm

On a night in November 2012, Timothy Russell and Malissa Williams led police on a car chase that lasted more than 20 minutes. Police cornered them in a parking lot, and – believing officers’ lives were in danger -- opened fire, killing Russell and Williams in a hail of 137 gunshots.

A year later, Russell and Williams’ families sued police and the city of Cleveland in federal court. They said police allowed the chase to spin out of control, and that the two should not have been killed.

Records show that this week, all sides sat down and hashed out a settlement -- though parties wouldn’t comment on the terms. A federal judge has signed off on it, though, and it’s awaiting final approval in probate court.

Meanwhile, one officer and five supervisors face criminal charges in connection with the chase and shooting. Their cases are still moving forward.

In a statement, plaintiff's attorneys say this gives the families closure, and that they look forward to the results of a justice department probe into uses of force by the Cleveland police.

A spokesman for the city of Cleveland declined to comment, and a defense attorney could not be reached.