Cleveland Public Safety Director Michael McGrath Resigns

photo of Michael McGrath
Outgoing Cleveland Public Safety Director Michael McGrath during a city council meeting. [Matthew Richmond / ideastream]
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Cleveland’s Director of Public Safety Michael McGrath is leaving his job at the end of the week.

Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson announced McGrath’s resignation Tuesday night in an e-mail, part of the city’s daily coronavirus update, saying his career demonstrates what it means to be a true public servant.

McGrath became a Cleveland patrolman in 1981 and stayed with the department for decades, becoming chief of police in 2005.

He was chief in 2012 during the 137 shots incident, where 62 squad cars joined a pursuit that ended in East Cleveland, where police shot and killed Timothy Russell and Malissa Williams, both unarmed.

After that incident, the U.S. Department of Justice found that there was systemic excessive use of force and bias among officers in the department.

Two years after that incident, McGrath was promoted to Director of Public Safety.

That year, 12-year-old Tamir Rice was killed by Cleveland police at a park on the city’s West Side.

Karrie Howard, the assistant safety director, is serving as acting safety director and a permanent replacement, who has not been made public, will be sworn-in Friday in a ceremony the city will broadcast on its Facebook page.

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