Judge Blocks East Cleveland Trial Of Cleveland Police Supervisors

10 Jul 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Court blocks move of November 2012 deadly chase from Cuyahoga County court to East Cleveland court.

CLEVELAND (AP) — The prosecution of five white police supervisors in a predominantly black suburb for failing to stop a car chase that ended with two black people being killed in a 137-shot barrage of police gunfire was put on hold Thursday by a state appeals court.CLEVELAND – A motion filed by five supervisors charged in a deadly Nov. 2012 chase and shooting to keep their cases in the Cuyahoga County court system has been granted. Attorneys for the supervisors filed a complaint with the Eighth District Court of Appeals on Wednesday arguing that the misdemeanor dereliction of duty charges filed against the supervisors in county court last year have priority over an identical set of charges filed last week in East Cleveland. Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Judge John O’Donnell, the judge who acquitted Cleveland Patrol Michael Brelo of manslaughter in connection with the deaths of Timothy Russell and Malissa Williams, was set to preside over the cases starting on July 27.

Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Timothy McGinty said East Cleveland Municipal Court is the appropriate venue to hold the trials as East Cleveland residents’ lives were endangered because officers did not end the chase and prevent the shooting. Russell, 43, and Williams, 30, led Cleveland Police on a 23-minute high-speed chase from downtown Cleveland to East Cleveland the evening of November 29, 2012.

O’Donnell ruled Brelo was justified when he jumped onto the hood of Russell’s car at the conclusion of the shooting and fired 15 shots through the windshield. When Brelo asked for a bench trial, McGinty argued unsuccessfully that it would deny black residents in Cuyahoga County the opportunity to sit on a jury. They’ve rejected a plea deal offer that would have led to the charges being dismissed if they agreed to say they endangered the lives of the public by not stopping the 22-mile-long chase, which began in Cleveland and involved more than 100 Cleveland officers.

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