63 Cops Suspended Over Deadly Car Chase In Cleveland

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  • A review of a deadly police chase in Cleveland nearly a year ago has led to suspensions for 63 patrol officers who violated orders and department rules, the city’s police chief said Tuesday.
    A fleeing driver and passenger were killed when officers fired 137 shots at them in the 23-minute chase that involved five dozen cruisers and wove through residential neighborhoods before ending in gunfire.

    Police Chief Michael McGrath said the suspensions were the result of disciplinary hearings, and violations ranged from insubordination to driving too fast during the chase.

    The hearings did not involve any of the officers involved in the shooting because a county grand jury is investigating possible criminal wrongdoing among the 13 officers who fired their weapons. No weapon or shell casings were found in the fleeing car.

    An initial review of the chase found 75 patrol officers violated orders, but the disciplinary hearings reduced that number to 64 officers. All but one received a suspension, with the longest being 10 days, McGrath said.

    None of the violations was so serious it warranted termination. Some of the officers received a written warning.

    Police previously announced punishments for 12 supervisors stemming from the chase. One sergeant was fired. A captain and lieutenant were demoted, and nine sergeants were suspended.

    The nighttime chase began last November when an officer thought he heard a gunshot from a car speeding by the police station in downtown Cleveland. A parking lot attendant thought it might have been a car backfire, a theory endorsed by the driver’s family.

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