East Cleveland Judge Can Hear Case Against Police Supervisors In Car Chase Shooting

Apr 13, 2017

The Ohio Supreme Court ruled an East Cleveland judge can hear criminal charges against five police supervisors, following the death of two unarmed black individuals in a barrage of police gunfire. But the Cuyahoga County prosecutor hasn't decided whether he will pursue those charges.

The court's opinion Thursday says Judge William Dawson, of the East Cleveland Municipal Court, can decide whether his court has jurisdiction to preside. Five supervisors are being charged with misdemeanor dereliction-of-duty.

In 2012, 13 Cleveland patrol officers fired 137 rounds at a car with Timothy Russell and Malissa Williams inside after a high-speed chase ended in East Cleveland. County prosecutors indicted the supervisors on charges of failing to control the pursuit.

Michael Brelo was the lone officer charged in the shooting, and his acquittal sparked protests.

The officers' attorneys argued the case should be heard by the county judge who acquitted Brelo.