Deadly Police Chase leaves questions

Posted in the Columbus Forum

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1 - 20 of 25 Comments Last updated Dec 4, 2012
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Young Guilty and Black

Springboro, OH

#1 Dec 2, 2012
EAST CLEVELAND, Ohio -- The car being chased by Cleveland police late Thursday night was owned by driver Timothy Russell, but whether pursuing officers knew who was behind the wheel ó or that he had a lengthy criminal record ó is now in question.

East Cleveland police, who are investigating the incident that ended in their city with the shooting deaths of Russell and passenger Malissa Williams, say Cleveland police dispatchers identified ran the license plate for Russell during the course of a 25-minute chase through Cleveland, Bratenahl and East Cleveland.

ďI do not have direct information that the officers knew who was in the vehicle, but their dispatch did run the plate and provide the vehicle information to them during the pursuit,Ē East Cleveland Police Sgt. Scott Gardner said.

But Jeffery Follmer, president of the Cleveland Police Patrolmenís Association, said at a news conference Saturday that pursuing officers did not know who was in the car at the time. Russell had a history of theft offenses, violent crime and, on two previous occasions, fleeing police ó all since 1997, according to public records.

Russell, who would have turned 44 on Dec. 9, and Williams, 30, died in a torrent of gunfire as 13 Cleveland police officers fired 137 rounds when the chase came to an end near an East Cleveland school. All 13 officers have been placed on paid leave.
Young Guilty and Black

Springboro, OH

#2 Dec 2, 2012
The apparent uncertainty over whether police knew who they were chasing is one among a multitude of questions hanging over the incident.

There appear to be many others, including from why the officers fired at all ó there was no gun was found in the car ó to why they fired so many shots, to whether one of the suspects had first fired a gun, starting the chase in downtown Cleveland.

The chase began about 10:30 p.m. Thursday near the Justice Center in downtown Cleveland when two officers heard a shot come from Russellís car, Follmer said.

The car fled the scene. Officers from Bratenahl, East Cleveland, the State Highway Patrol and the Cuyahoga County Sheriffís Office joined in the pursuit.

It ended on a dead-end access street in East Cleveland, near Heritage Middle School, where Russell ďviolently rammed a police car and almost struck an officer,Ē Follmer said.

He said police can use deadly force when a suspect tries to use a vehicle as a weapon, even without shots fired at officers.

Chatter on the police radio during the chase included the possibility a weapon was seen and thrown from Russellís car, East Cleveland Police Chief Ralph Spotts said.

But no shell casings were found in the car, and police did not find a gun or bullet or shell casings near the Justice Center.

Gardner also said the Cuyahoga County medical examinerís office will do a gunshot-residue test on the bodies to determine if either might have fired at police. That will not be completed until later in the week.

The incident left Cleveland Police Chief Michael McGrath grasping for words Friday evening
Young Guilty and Black

Springboro, OH

#3 Dec 2, 2012
ďItís really with a heavy heart. I canít tell you how much this hurts the Cleveland Division of Police,Ē McGrath said at a news conference.ďWe work so hard. We worked so hard to make things good. Something like this, Iím not saying it makes us look bad because the investigation isnít completed yet, but itís a real challenge for us.Ē

But Follmer said Saturday that McGrath should not comment on the shooting until the investigation is complete.

Follmer said the police union was unnerved that McGrath called it a ďvery regrettable situationĒ that ďhurtsĒ his department.

ďI donít understand where the bad guys arenít still bad, and now itís the police officers,Ē Follmer told reporters and off-duty officers and their families at the CPPA hall.

ďThe officers involved are experienced and professional police officers,Ē he said.ďFor anyone who was not there to judge them without knowing all the facts, or to blame anyone else but the two occupants of that car for their own death, is ignorant and self-serving.

ďOur officers did a great job.Ē

Details, meanwhile, on the lives of Russell and Williams remained thin apart from court and police documents ó although Russellís father, David, said Saturday that he was shocked that his son had been killed.

Timothy Russell had been found guilty of domestic violence in Summit County, and had three convictions for receiving stolen property, one in Summit County and two in Cuyahoga. Russell also had four robbery convictions; Ohio law makes the distinction that robbery is any theft offense involving force or threat of force.

One of the stolen-property offenses also carried a felony failure-to-comply charge, in Cuyahoga County in 2008. He also was found guilty of misdemeanor failure to comply in Mentor Municipal Court earlier this year.

Failure to comply is often used when a motorist is fleeing from police. Russellís license was suspended in the Mentor case, a penalty that would have been lifted today.

Timothy Russellís former wife sought and received the dissolution of their marriage in Summit County in 2000, while he was in prison.

Malissa Williams, the other occupant of the car, had five drug-related convictions in Cuyahoga County between 2004 and 2008. During that time she was also charged with rape and attempted abduction. The rape charge was dropped when she pleaded guilty to the lesser attempted-abduction count.

An online record does not carry details of that case., however.

Few family members for either Russell or Williams have come forward, but Timothy Russellís father said although he had not spoken with his son in recent days,ďhe was a good boy. All kids make you mad, but I taught him how to work. He worked. He went to church.

ďI wouldnít believe he would have a gun, not even a knife,Ē David Russell said in a phone interview Saturday.

ďEverybody liked him. They couldnít believe it was him. Itís pretty rough. It was a shock.Ē

Williamsí aunt, Dorothy Sigelmier, said in a phone interview that she helped raise her niece, whom she described as having mental disorders.

ďHer mother had her when she was young,Ē Sigelmier said.ďItís been very hard for her. She had a hard life.

ďShe was a good girl. She wouldnít have had a gun. She didnít even know how to use a gun.Ēź

With Plain Dealer reporters Brandon Blackwell, James Ewinger and Tom Feran
Oliver Twist

Springboro, OH

#4 Dec 2, 2012
Despite the obligatory and laughable claims of their relatives, these two scum bags got exactly what they deserved, and the city of Cleveland is just a little bit safer today as a result.

Judged:

14

14

10

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Report Abuse Judge it!

“Cats rule.”

Since: Dec 09

Chardon Ohio.

#5 Dec 2, 2012
Those cops need to go bact to the gun range.What a total waste of bullets.
NRA Member for Life

Springboro, OH

#7 Dec 2, 2012
That's called sending a message to thugs and hood rats that when you ram a police vehicle and strike an officer you will die.
NRA Member for Death

Columbus, OH

#8 Dec 2, 2012
NRA Member for Life wrote:
That's called sending a message to thugs and hood rats that when you ram a police vehicle and strike an officer you will die.
I'll drink to that!
Babs

Valley City, OH

#10 Dec 3, 2012
Good job officers. We now have two less scumbags running the streets and we are not supporting their criminal azzes in prison.

“Cats rule.”

Since: Dec 09

Chardon Ohio.

#11 Dec 3, 2012
NRA Member for Life wrote:
<quoted text>
Disagree Dave.
These officers will have to go before a citizen review council that will include liberal negroes and radical White Feminists like Reader and Female. With a single shot the liberals would be able to make a case against the officers but with 137 shots fired that liberal panel will be clueless and the two Blacks are on slabs in the morgue. Think back to another high speed chase, Rodney King in Los Angeles. If the female cop had pulled her gun and shot him dead, end of story. This use of force is the perfect way to deal with the plaque of criminal ghetto Blacks that are infesting our cities, emboldened by Obama's victory we all need to be ready to deal harshly when these savages commit crimes and break into our homes to steal, rape and pillage.
You do have a point there.Thanks.I'll bet that was something to see though.
C-note

Columbus, OH

#12 Dec 3, 2012
NRA Member for Life wrote:
That's called sending a message to thugs and hood rats that when you ram a police vehicle and strike an officer you will die.
U just jealous

“Cats rule.”

Since: Dec 09

Chardon Ohio.

#13 Dec 3, 2012
Da homies be goin crazy wit de judge it's today on dis one.
just sayin

Columbus, OH

#14 Dec 3, 2012
Where's George? By now this thread should be oversaturated with his usual racial slurs & epithets.
NRA Member for Life

Springboro, OH

#15 Dec 3, 2012
Catman Dave wrote:
<quoted text>You do have a point there.Thanks.I'll bet that was something to see though.
I would have loved to see these two get their just deserts in a hail 137 bullets that ensured there would be no trials, lawsuits and "White Guilt" liberal psychobabble gibberish.
NRA Member for Life

Springboro, OH

#16 Dec 3, 2012
Quote: "Russell, who would have turned 44 on Dec. 9, and Williams, 30, died in a torrent of gunfire as 13 Cleveland police officers fired 137 rounds when the chase came to an end near an East Cleveland school."

NRA Member says, "I have tears if joy when I read this."

That's what I call "sending a message." Way to go Cleveland Police. I think I can smell the gun powder all the way down here in Columbus.
Oliver Twist

Springboro, OH

#17 Dec 3, 2012
Catman Dave wrote:
Those cops need to go bact to the gun range.What a total waste of bullets.
I read a follow up story in the Plain Dealer and the Male hood rat was hit 20 times and the Female has hit 17 times, Bonnie & Clyde style, not bad for 137 shots fired while crazed Blacks are ramming police vehicles, driving 100 mph and out of control.

The 137 bullets weren't wasted as 37 landed, ensuring the termination of two of the criminal element. The family members of the hood rats are now asking for "an apology from CPD."

“Cats rule.”

Since: Dec 09

Chardon Ohio.

#18 Dec 3, 2012
Oliver Twist wrote:
<quoted text>
I read a follow up story in the Plain Dealer and the Male hood rat was hit 20 times and the Female has hit 17 times, Bonnie & Clyde style, not bad for 137 shots fired while crazed Blacks are ramming police vehicles, driving 100 mph and out of control.
The 137 bullets weren't wasted as 37 landed, ensuring the termination of two of the criminal element. The family members of the hood rats are now asking for "an apology from CPD."
That aint gonna happen.The thugs started it by not simply pulling over.I just love how the family members always come out of the woodwork to defend thugs with criminal records.
Westside Pride

Springboro, OH

#19 Dec 3, 2012
Babs wrote:
Good job officers. We now have two less scumbags running the streets and we are not supporting their criminal azzes in prison.
Bullets + hood rats = Peace.
The armed citizen

Springboro, OH

#20 Dec 3, 2012
The thin blue line (police) and the thin white line (armed citizens) are the only thing holding back the Black Crime Wave.

It is a good thing that these two miscreants where dealt a harsh penalty for their folly of drive in excess of one hundred miles per hour in residential areas and ramming police vehicles.

The were a menace to society and we are a better society with these two dead in the morgue on cold stone slabs.

“Larchmont's Leading Citizen”

Since: Dec 12

Hilliard, OH

#21 Dec 3, 2012
Westside Pride wrote:
<quoted text>
Bullets + hood rats = Peace.
You mean bullets impacting hoodrats.
Westside Pride

Springboro, OH

#22 Dec 3, 2012
Hugh Victor Thompson III wrote:
<quoted text>You mean bullets impacting hoodrats.
Yes, bullets impacting hood rats with lethal results.

The two hood rats in the story were shot 37 times by the Cleveland Police, the male was shot 20X and the female 17X. I call this sending a message that even the hood rats in Cleveland can understand.

Go Cleveland Police Department and Go Browns.

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