Judge: Cleveland Police Officers Did Not Prove Discrimination Claim

A 2012 Bureau of Criminal Investigation photo of the car, obtained through a records request. (Attorney General's office)

by Nick Castele

A federal judge says nine Cleveland police officers did not prove they suffered reverse racial discrimination when they were placed on restricted duty, after they opened fire on an unarmed black motorist and his passenger in 2012. 

In his ruling, Judge James Gwin also found the officers did not suffer the loss of their civil rights.

The nine officers were among those who fired a total of 137 gunshots after a car chase three years ago. In a lawsuit filed last year, they alleged they were placed on longer periods of restricted duty after the shooting than African American officers involved in shootings had been.

Eight of the plaintiffs are white, and one is Hispanic. No black officers opened fire that night.

A grand jury last year did not indict any of the plaintiffs. Officer Michael Brelo, who was not a party in the suit, was acquitted in May of manslaughter charges in the shooting. 

The city of Cleveland last year agreed to a $3 million settlement with the families of Timothy Russell and Malissa Williams, the unarmed pair killed in the shooting.

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