Cleveland Suspends 63 Cops Over Massive, Deadly Chase

13 may be charged over death of unarmed suspects
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 16, 2013 1:03 AM CDT
Updated Oct 16, 2013 4:03 AM CDT
Cleveland Suspends 63 Cops Over Deadly Chase
"Under a stressful, tactful situation, it’s more important to follow your rules and procedures than ever before, or you may have some type of chaos or problems," the chief says.   (AP Photo/Tony Dejak)

(Newser) – Cleveland has suspended a sizable chunk of its police department over a car chase last year that left two unarmed suspects riddled with bullets after a pursuit involving 63 cars. The city's chief of police says 63 of the 104 officers involved will be suspended for up to 10 days for "administrative charges ranging from excessive speed to insubordination," the Plain Dealer reports. One police supervisor has already been fired, two demoted, and nine suspended over the incident, and the department has yet to deal with the 13 officers who fired 137 shots into the car, killing the driver and his passenger.

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The chase began on November 29 last year when police thought they heard a gunshot from the car of Timothy Russell, 43. He refused to stop for officers and was shot dead along with Malissa Williams, 30, after a chaotic 23-minute chase. No weapons were found in the vehicle and investigators now believe the "gunshot" police heard was the sound of Russell's 1979 Chevy backfiring, reports Reuters. Cleveland's mayor says his department is "not throwing officers under the bus for political reasons and we're not covering anything up. " Prosecutors haven't decided whether to charge the 13 officers involved in the shooting. (Read more Cleveland stories.)

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