Strong reaction to ruling in favor of police in chase - Cleveland 19 News Cleveland, OH

Strong reaction to ruling in favor of police in chase

Cleveland police chase. (Source: WOIO) Cleveland police chase. (Source: WOIO)
We're hearing strong reaction to a court ruling saying Cleveland must hire back an officer who had been fired, and promote two bosses who had been demoted after a massive chase that turned deadly in 2012.

Cuyahoga County Court Judge Joseph Russo ordered the city to rehire Sergeant Michael Donegan, and promote Captain Ulrich Zouhar and Lieutenant Paul Wilson.  They were punished the most by the city for the chase that ended with police gunfire and the deaths of Timothy Russell and Malissa Williams.

An arbitrator ruled the punishment was too harsh for those three supervisors.  Then the city went to court to try to overturn the arbitrator's ruling. Now Judge Russo has ruled against the city and upheld the arbitrator's ruling.

An uncle of Malissa Williams called the ruling "very hurtful" and an "insult" to the families.

But the head of the supervisor's union called it "a fair process."  Brian Betley told 19 Action News that too many people follow what they hear on the street and want to "throw daggers" at the police without knowing all the facts.

Betley says Donegan will be eligible for about 18 months worth of back pay.  The others will be eligible for about 6 months worth of back pay each.

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