The Cuyahoga County Prosecutor's Office completed a review and concluded that the six police officers involved in the shooting death of Michael Brennan on Interstate 480 after a chase in October of 2015 were legally justified in their use of deadly force.
Evidence from the case was presented to a Grand Jury, which agreed that the actions from the officers of Parma Heights, Parma and Brooklyn were reasonable and justified in regards to the event that occurred.
In a letter sent to the police chiefs of Parma Heights, Parma and Brooklyn, Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Timothy McGinty said the officers, "were justified in their use of deadly force and that any officer, faced with a similar position and similar facts, would have acted as they did to stop the serious ongoing threat presented by Mr. Brennan. In fact, in this case, it would been unreasonable and in violation of all police training if the officers had not fired when they did.”
“The evidence suggests that Mr. Brennan’s objective was what is sometimes called ‘suicide by cop,’" McGinty wrote in his letter to the three chiefs. “(Mr. Brennan’s) decisions to ignore continuous, loud commands and to exit through the passenger door directly toward the police line while brandishing a weapon that Mr. Brennan alone knew was not real, all make that a plausible possibility.”
The chase started in Parma Heights after police said the suspect robbed a Papa John's Pizza on Pearl Road at gunpoint. When officers saw a vehicle matching the description, they attempted to pull the suspect over.
The vehicle sped off and a chase began through city streets and onto I-480 eastbound near Tiedeman Road.
After a chase police said was under 10 minutes, the suspect crashed a white truck into the median on I-480. Police said Brennan fumbled around in the car for a while before exiting.
Police surrounded the vehicle and said Brennan raised a gun and pointed it at the officers. Six officers fired shots, striking Brennan, who died of a gunshot wound. Four officers were from Parma Heights, one from Parma and one from Brooklyn Police.
Parma Heights, Parma and Brooklyn Police Dept. officers followed vehicular pursuit protocols in Thursday’s chase of an armed robbery suspect that ended in a fatal shooting on I-480, according to department documents.