Disciplinary hearings begin for Cleveland police supervisors involved in fatal chase and shooting

CLEVELEAND - Disciplinary hearings for 12 Cleveland police supervisors involved in a deadly chase and shooting in November 2012 began Monday.

Cleveland Safety Director Martin Flask will hear six cases involving serous charges against the officers. Cleveland Police Chief Michael McGrath will hear the remaining six cases.

The supervisors each face several charges they violated police department rules and policies during the chase.

Some of the charges detailed in letters to the supervisors said the officers failed to take control of the chase, failed to communicate important information to the Communications Control Center during the chase, and failed to gain permission to participate in the chase.

Sgt. Matthew Putnam is accused of leaving an unsecured rifle in a police vehicle with its windows open.

Flask heard cases involving four police sergeants Monday. Two more hearings are scheduled Wednesday.

Chief McGrath has yet to announce when he will hold disciplinary hearings. 

The details of any disciplinary actions against the officers will not be announced until all of the hearings have been completed, according to a city of Cleveland spokeperson.

The chase started when an officer thought he heard shots fired from a car driving by the Cuyahoga County Criminal Justice Center on Nov. 29. The chase ended with a shootout in the the parking lot of Heritage Middle School in East Cleveland. 

Thirteen officers fired 137 shots at the car they were pursuing, killing Timothy Russell and Malissa Williams. The 13 officers involved in the shooting are under criminal investigation by the Cuyahoga County Prosecutor.

No gun was found in the Russell's vehicle.

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