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Cleveland residents demanding changes to police department's chase policy

Posted at 11:01 PM, Jan 23, 2020
and last updated 2020-01-23 23:17:18-05

CLEVELAND — Residents packed a local Cleveland church Thursday night to work towards solutions after a senseless tragedy rocked their community.

"The chase should stop at some point because it's just too many people getting hurt," one resident said.

The incident happened just before Christmas.

It started in Cleveland on West 117th Street in the Target parking lot. Police said a woman was carjacked at gunpoint and the teenage thief led police on a chase from Cleveland into East Cleveland.

Sixth-grader Tamia Chappman was struck and killed as she was walking to the library with her classmates.

"The Superior school family has just been heartbroken," one of Tamia's teachers said.

Tamia's cousin also came out to the meeting with a message from her mother.

"She stated that she never, ever wants another person to experience what her and her family went through because of this chase," the heartbroken relative said.

Cleveland Police Chief Calvin Williams responded when residents suggested maybe the department should stop chases all together.

"What does that do for this city? For any knucklehead that wants to victimize you or you or you or you, what does that do for this city? It gives them free reign to do anything they want," Williams said.

Williams got emotional after much of the back and forth.

"If we did anything wrong in this, everybody responsible is going to pay for it. Period," Williams said with tears in his eyes.

The department arrested a 15-year-old after the chase. He's charged on three counts including murder, aggravated robbery and robbery.

RELATED: Second teen charged in death of 13-year-old killed during police pursuit