Prosecutor Asks Ohio Supreme Court to Allow Case Against Police Supervisors to Proceed

Police fired 137 gunshots at Timothy Russell's Chevy Malibu, photographed by the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation.
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by Nick Castele

The Cuyahoga County prosecutor is asking the Ohio Supreme Court to allow a misdemeanor case against five Cleveland police supervisors to move forward in East Cleveland court.

In a brief filed last week, Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Timothy McGinty asked the state’s top court to reverse an appellate ruling that East Cleveland’s judge lacked jurisdiction.  

The Ohio Supreme Court court hasn’t yet decided whether to take the case.

The case stems from a 2012 case in which Cleveland police fatally shot Timothy Russell and Malissa Williams after a car chase that ended in an East Cleveland parking lot.

In 2014, a county grand jury indicted one officer on voluntary manslaughter charges and five police supervisors on misdemeanor dereliction of duty charges. Prosecutors accused the supervisors of failing to properly control the chase.

A year later, Officer Michael Brelo was acquitted of the manslaughter charges.

Prosecutors then tried to pursue the dereliction of duty charges in East Cleveland. The supervisors were charged in East Cleveland Municipal Court, and the charges against them were dropped in Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Court. 

The supervisors’ attorneys fought the move, and in May of this year, an appellate court ruled in their favor.

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