CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) - Nearly five years after a deadly police chase and shooting led to the deaths of two unarmed people, the city reinstated five of the six officers that were fired as a result of the investigation.
The city of Cleveland released the following statement and confirms that the following five police officers were reinstated to full-time duty.
- Michael Farley #409
- Erin O’Donnell #1027
- Christopher Ereg #767
- Wilfredo Diaz #350
- Brian Sabolik #1021
Six officers, including Michael Brelo were fired and six others were suspended. One officer retired.
A 28-minute pursuit of the car Timothy Russell and Malissa Williams were in led to a shootout where police officers fired 137-shots killing the two.
The chase started in Cleveland and ended at Heritage Middle School in East Cleveland.
The six officers fired were Officer Michael Brelo, Officer Wilfredo Diaz, Det. Christopher Ereg, Officer Michael Farley, Det. Erin O'Donnell and Officer Brian Sabolik. Brelo was the only officer who was indicted. He was acquitted on manslaughter charges May 2015 in a bench trial.
The officers suspended were Officer Scott Sistek, Officer Cynthia Moore, Det. Michael Rinkus, Det. William Salupo, Officer Randy Patrick and Officer Paul Box.
The suspensions lasted 21 to 30 days.
Det. Michael Demchak retired.
Director of Public Safety Michael McGrath, who was the police chief in 2012, said his decision about which officers were disciplined was based on a lot of things, including officer interviews and reports.
McGrath said it came down to if police rules were violated.
Some of the violations the city cited were: officers "engaging in a pursuit without explicit permission" from supervisor, creating a crossfire situation and leaving the city without permission.
At the time, the city said all officers still on the job will be retrained and the police union president vowed the union would fight the punishment.
The recommendations are that six officers be terminated, six were disciplined, one retired.
During the shooting, many officers thought they were at a water treatment plant.
They did not know they were at Heritage Middle School.
Two-hundred-seventy-seven officers were on duty, 105 involved in the pursuit and 74 receive administrative charges. Forty-six supervisors were on duty at the time of the chase, 18 supervisors were involved, 12 supervisors receiving administrative charges.
- In the Spring of 2013, April, review of pursuit was completed.
- In June of 2015 the criminal proceedings were completed.
- After Chief Williams brought the review back to the committee the 13 officers' participation in the pursuit and shooting was also reviewed.
- October and November, 2015 disciplinary hearings were conducted for the 13 officers.
Attorneys for the Russell and Williams families have not responded.