A federal judge ruled that Cleveland police officers involved in the death of 37-year-old Tanisha Anderson can be quizzed in the federal wrongful death lawsuit.
A medical examiner report ruled the death was a homicide and found Anderson died "as a result of physical restraint" after police allegedly pinned her to the sidewalk in November of 2014.
The officers have avoided answering questions about their role in Anderson's death, citing their rights as a separate criminal investigation continues and have been protected under a court ordered stay of proceedings.
Now, U.S. District Judge Donald C. Nugent has ruled that "if that investigation is not complete by Sept. 1, 2016, the stay will lift automatically," and the officers will be required to "file their responsive pleadings no later than Sept. 14, 2016."
The ruling opens the door for Anderson's attorneys to question the officers on the record during depositions that can be included in the wrongful death lawsuit.
The criminal investigation, meanwhile, remains with a court appointed special master who is reviewing evidence before turning it over to the Ohio Attorney General's Office for possible criminal charges.