CLEVELAND (AP) — Six Cleveland police officers charged for their roles in a November 2012 car chase that ended with a hail of 137 gunshots and the deaths of two unarmed suspects pleaded not guilty Friday to various crimes.
The six officers were arraigned in Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Court and were released on bond.
Patrolman Michael Brelo faces the most serious charges, two counts of manslaughter, in the deaths of the driver, 43-year-old Timothy Russell, and his 30-year-old passenger, Malissa Williams.
Brelo, 30, is accused of jumping on the hood of Russell’s car after the initial salvo and unloading his weapon, firing 15 rounds that have been described as fatal to Russell and Williams. Brelo fired a total of 49 rounds that night.
Russell was shot 23 times and Williams 24 times. No gun was found on them or in the vehicle. The chase began when an officer thought he heard a gunshot from a car speeding by the police and courts complex, jumped into his patrol car and radioed for help. Police don’t know why Russell didn’t stop.
Five supervisors have been charged with dereliction of duty, a misdemeanor, for failing to control officers. Cleveland safety officials have said 104 of the 277 officers on duty that night participated in the chase, which covered 20 miles over 23 minutes and reached speeds of 110 mph.
Attorney Patrick D’Angelo spoke after Friday’s arraignment on behalf of the attorneys representing the six officers.
D’Angelo, who is one of three attorneys representing Brelo, asked people not rush to judgment about what occurred on Nov. 29, 2012.
“We intend to fight this case,” he said. “We feel the officers all acted within the bounds of the law are not guilty of these charges.”
The killings in the parking lot of a suburban Cleveland elementary school have been decried as a racially motivated execution — both victims were black — and are part of a larger federal investigation into the troubled police department.
U.S. Department of Justice is investigating the Cleveland Police Department’s policies governing vehicle pursuits and the use of deadly force. The department changed its pursuit policy after the episode, limiting when and how long patrol cars can chase suspects. Five dozen cars were involved in the chase.
An investigation by the Ohio attorney general blamed police leadership and communications failures for what happened. County prosecutor Tim McGinty said investigating the chase was complicated by the fact that Cleveland cruisers don’t have video cameras.
City officials recently announced that a pilot program is underway to equip officers with body cameras.
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(Photo Source: AP)
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This Week’s Celebrity Instagrams (11/26-12/2)
30 photos Launch gallery
1. Little Legend and Puddy 😍😍😍😍
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2. "You on point Phife?" "all the time,Tip". 💥 #bannedfromnormal
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3. Vegan! The Impossible burger at Crossroads
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4. Lawrence #BeforeandAfterEpisodes 1-4: 184lbs 13% body fatEpisode 8: 196lbs 8% body fat S/O @coachdaveboxing with the works outs and @kildareriordan with the nutrition
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5. Jus haaaanngin out
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6. Meanwhile back at home in Atlanta GA someone mad they not on the 🛳. 😳
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7. No limits... Photo cred: Chris Bridges @ludacris
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8. new new
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9. Apparently my 260lbs is too much for the actual vines in the Hawaiian jungles to hold me without breaking and me falling hundreds of feet. So for safety purposes, I'm forced to swing thru #Jumanjj on wires strong enough to hold 12 adult buffaloes and 1 adult Rock. #OnSet #Jumanji #IronicallyIEatBuffaloDailyForLunch #MoreManThanNatureKnowsWhatToDoWith
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10. hey ma! 🎎#wcw 💙
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11. Surprise visit to our factories!!! #GoodAmerican #USA
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13. Peachy Keen 🔥✨⚡️
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14. If this don't look thankful I don't know what does. Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours. #UltraBlessed #24kMagic #SweetPotatoFly
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15. Late nights @nbcmarlon with the writers... we in here!!!
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16. There goes my baaaaaaaaabbbbyyyyy #QueenKingMagic!!! We're up to something! Ira BIG!!! Stay out our buisness -
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17. You want to win every game you play but when you come home to these faces... who cares. #ILoveYouGirls best part of my day, everyday!
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18. Steady,steady..... full size jenga.. "I got this one "???? Or do I ?
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19. Cornrows kind of day 😉@dontaysavoy2 you convinced me and I love. ❤️️
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20. #BrotherlyLove #tbt
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22. #basel #TeamLOVE @kingcombs
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23. Just introduced a special screening of @directher 's groundbreaking (must see) documentary @13thfilm with my brother @themichaelealy | @unitedblackout #blackoutblackfriday
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24. Me & Vanessa Williams giving #DuckLips #Pose on the set of #DaytimeDivas @vh1 - Coming Soon to a tv near you. Lol. - My make up done by @makeupsurgeon
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25. This picture just makes me wanna praise the Lord, you hear me!!!!!! Yes Lord brotha #TEDDYCAMPBELL What a #man !!! You are everything right on this picture husband ......... #gorgeous #stylish #classy #strong #masculine #king #sexy #debonair #gentlemenstyle And that #bible in your hand just seals the deal for me (probably cause i know that, that is what helped you become just as amazing as you look😘). While my heart and mind experiences the goodness of God at #church on Sundays, my eyes experiences the goodness of Teddy😍. Amen somebody🙌🏽. "Bless the Lord oh my soul and all that is within me bless his holy name" #myman #myhusband #goodman #blackman #dapperman #godlyman #goodfather #mybestfriend
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26. Yesterday was my mama's 53rd birthday!!!!! Got to celebrate with her all day. If this is what I have to look forward to I can't wait. Looking like a soft bucket a cocoa butter. Yaaaaaaaaaas! 😍😍😍 love you mommy!
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27. "Shout out to @PureAtlanta for getting the family right"....I'm loving this jogger. 😍😍
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28. This pic warms my heart ❤️ #myLogiebeans and aunt aunt umba @itowandabraxton 😘
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29. You will always be my baby😜. #HappyBirthdayReginae #mybaby18
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30. GC "Gods Child" Red on Red SweatSuit available now at www.MonicaApparel.com ... Take Your Crown wherever you go!! I'm pictured in a Medium... Go to the site now for other options ... cc: @trukernell
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