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Cleveland Police to Suspend 63 Officers for Role in Car Chase that Ended in Deadly Shooting

Tuesday, October 15, 2013 at 2:22 PM

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From left, Safety Director Martin Flask, Police Chief Michael McGrath and Mayor Frank Jackson. (Photo: Nick Castele)

Cleveland’s police chief today disclosed disciplinary measures to be taken against officers involved in last November’s car chase that ended with two unarmed people being killed in a rain of bullets. ideastream’s Nick Castele has more.

Chief Michael McGrath says 74 officers who took part in the pursuit, but did NOT fire their guns, underwent disciplinary hearings. 

“Sixty-four of the 74 patrol officers were found guilty of administrative charges ranging from excessive speed to insubordination to failure to request permission to be involved in the pursuit,” McGrath said.

He said 63 of those officers will be suspended for those violations, which included refusing to abandon the chase when ordered to. 

The maximum suspension any one officer could receive is 10 days. McGrath declined to say how many officers will face that max, but said 178 suspension days would be divided among the officers.

McGrath also said supervisors should have done a better job keeping control of the chase. One supervisor has been fired, and 11 others disciplined.

The head of Cleveland’s police patrolmen’s union, Jeffrey Follmer, says he plans to appeal some the decisions, and expects the union will win some cases in arbitration.

“We show the city is inconsistent with their discipline, we have comparables with what they’ve done in the past, and we win these,” Follmer told reporters after the press conference.

McGrath says the 13 officers who fired off 137 rounds that night also will undergo disciplinary hearings. But first, the city is waiting for word from the Cuyahoga County prosecutor and grand jury, who’s deciding whether to bring criminal charges. 

An investigation by the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation did not find a gun in the car of the two people killed, nor was a one found along the chase route. 

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Courts/Crime - Fire/Law Enforcement

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