Delays in administrative review of Cleveland police high-speed chase turned fatal shooting

CLEVELAND - Cleveland's police department explains why there's been a delay in the administrative review of the facts and circumstances into the high-speed chase turned fatal shooting.

Cleveland Department of Public Safety director Martin Flask said interviews with the dozens of patrol officers involved in the pursuit have been delayed because the attorney representing them has been "absent."

Meanwhile, Flask said the committee is reviewing evidence and conducting other interviews. Recorded interviews of supervisory officers are also under way.

"We remain committed to an impartial review and no conclusions or assumptions have or will be made until the administrative review is complete, and the committee appointed by the Chief of Police presents their findings to the Chief," Flask said in a prepared statement.

Despite the delay, Flask said the department is committed to conducting a thorough review.

"We know that uncertainty, speculation and a lengthy investigation will naturally fuel discussions in our community. We also know that it is difficult for all involved, but we must stay our course and allow the process to continue. It is through this process that we will be able to answer the critical questions that this community has asked regarding the pursuit and use of deadly force."

On Nov. 29, police officers at the Justice Center thought they heard gunshots coming from the car of Timothy Russell.

A 22 minute chase ensued that ended in East Cleveland with 137 rounds fired. Russell and his passenger, Malissa Williams, were both killed.

The Ohio Attorney General's Office review into the case found several departmental communication and procedural errors, but was not responsible for saying if the officers were justified in shooting the two inside the vehicle.

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