Six Cleveland police officers have lost their jobs while six others have short-term suspensions without pay, Cleveland Detective Steve Loomis announced Tuesday. The officers were all linked to a car chase that ultimately involved 105 officers and 62 patrol cars. An unarmed black man and woman, Timothy Russell and Malissa Williams were killed as officers fired 137 shots into their vehicle in November 2015.
Only one of the officers, Michael Brelo was indicted for manslaughter for allegedly firing 49 shots into the car including the last 15 from the hood of Russell’s Chevy Malibu. After a bench trial, Brelo was acquitted, meaning nobody involved in the shooting was convicted of a crime. The acquittal in May 2015 brought a wave of protest against law enforcement in Cleveland and demand for police accountability in Cuyahoga County.
According to the police union president, Steve Loomis, the firings came out of thin air and were “politically motivated”. He has filed grievances against the city vowing to get the officers’ jobs back.