Community members fill courtroom for trial of Cleveland Police Sergeant charged in deadly 2012 chase

Community members fill courtroom for trial of Cleveland Police Sergeant charged in deadly 2012 chase

CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - Seven years later, a community still cares deeply about what happened after a police chase in November 2012.

Police say they were doing their jobs.

Activists are still showing, however, that they disagree with the way the two people died.

Prosecutors say officers unnecessarily chased Tim Russell and Malisaa Williams before shooting them to death in 2012.

Naieema Williams remembers how angry people where in the days after.

“They were outraged at that,” she said.

Now, there’s still great interest the case.

Sgt. Patricia Coleman is on trial for the way she managed her officers the night 137 shots were fired at the alleged suspect car.

“She could have stopped this whole thing if she would have just told them to stop the pursuit,” Williams said.

The 23-minute chase started in Cleveland and ended in East Cleveland.

Coleman’s says she didn’t do anything wrong that night.

The East Cleveland Police supervisor on duty at the time testified Wednesday that his officers were chasing the alleged suspects because they thought shots had been fired.

“It enters a whole new level when you have someone you're chasing that has shot at somebody, versus someone who has an outstanding warrant,” he said.

Protestors are listening and have posted signs outside the courthouse.

All this for the second degree misdemeanor Coleman’s facing.

According to Ohio law, if Coleman’s convicted she could face a max sentence of 90 days in jail and a fine.

One officer was indicted on felony charges in this case.

Michael Brelo was acquitted in 2015.

Several other Cleveland police officers were also suspended or fired.

Copyright 2019 WOIO. All rights reserved.