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Cops Fire 137 Bullets Into A Car and Kill an Unarmed Man and Woman: 6 Cops Fired—4 Years Later—And None Convicted (Video)

More than 60 police cars took part in the car chase, even though the rules for chases allow only two. After the other officers had stopped shooting at the victims’ car, "Officer" Brelo mounted the hood of the car and fired at least 15 shots through the windshield. Twelve cops fired their weapons and a total of 137 bullets were fired into the car. Timothy Russell was shot 23 times; Malissa Williams, 24 times.  Sixty cops were temporarily suspended for their roles. A grand jury indicted only one of the 13 cops placed before it. A judge let that one cop walk.—Ronald David Jackson



The Death Car: Timothy Russell and Malissa Williams (inset)
The Death Car: Timothy Russell and Malissa Williams (inset)

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6 Cleveland police officers fired for actions in fatal 2012 chase


By Eliott C. McLaughlin
Six Cleveland police officers have been fired in connection with a November 2012 car chase that ended with officers firing 137 bullets at a car, killing Timothy Russell and Malissa Williams, said Detective Steve Loomis, president of the Cleveland Police Patrolmen's Association.

Loomis identified the officers as Wilfredo Diaz, Brian Sabolik, Erin O'Donnell, Michael Farley, Chris Ereg and Michael Brelo.


Brelo, the only officer indicted in the incident, allegedly fired 49 of the shots, including 15 from the hood of the car carrying Russell and Williams. He was acquitted of manslaughter and felonious assault last year.

Police in a tweet Tuesday said six other officers were suspended without pay for up to a month and a 13th officer retired last year.

Loomis, a veteran of 23 years, vowed to get the fired officers' jobs back. There is "no rhyme or reason" to the dismissals, and he said he and other officers are scratching their heads because the firings seem random, as if names were picked out of a hat.

"This is nothing but politics. I have every confidence in the world we're going to get their jobs back. I'm not going to stand for it," Loomis said.

How, he asked, can the six officers be fired when a grand jury opted not to indict 12 of the 13 officers and the sole remaining officer, Brelo, was acquitted by Cuyahoga County Judge John P. O'Donnell?

In his May 2015 decision, O'Donnell ruled that Brelo's use of force was permissible because he had reason to believe he was threatened. And it couldn't be proved that Brelo's shots were the fatal ones, so the judge couldn't issue a guilty verdict on the manslaughter charge, he said.

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