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Cleveland Police Shooting Investigation Widens

Tuesday, January 29, 2013 at 6:34 PM

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Police Chief Michael McGrath answers questions while Mayor Frank Jackson and Safety Director Martin Flask look on.

The investigation into a police chase in November that ended with the deaths of two suspects in a hail of bullets has grown wider, and will take longer than expected. ideastream's Nick Castele reports.

The chase reportedly began in downtown Cleveland, when an officer heard what sounded like a gunshot as a car drove by police headquarters. It ended 25 minutes later at an East Cleveland Middle School, where 13 officers are said to have fired 137 gunshots at the car, killing the driver and passenger.

Police Chief Michael McGrath initially said at least 30 police cars were involved. Now, he says, 63 cars were involved in the incident in some way or another. 

MCGRATH: “Some of the cars were actually in the pursuit, moving. Other cars blocked intersections. And this doesn’t include cars from RTA, Bratenahl or State Highway Patrol.”

The city is investigating whether any officers broke department policy on car chases. A special review committee is interviewing 115 officers, including supervisors who oversaw the chase. 

But McGrath says a separate, parallel review by the state Bureau of Criminal Investigations is slowing the process. 

MCGRATH: “BCI interviewed all the supervisors, and now they’re going back and re-intervieiwng some of the supervisors in the second and third districts. So they asked us just to be patient until they complete their process.”

BCI is investigating whether officers involved in the shooting broke the law. The police union has said that officers opened fire on the car after it tried to ram them.

A recent medical examiner’s report found that the driver and passenger had traces of drugs in their system.

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Courts/Crime - Fire/Law Enforcement

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