Cleveland police indictment part of wider deadly force investigation

OHIO
Probe of police leads
to officers’ indictment

A police chase that ended in a schoolyard with two unarmed suspects dying in a hail of 137 bullets is part of a broad federal investigation of the Cleveland Police Department’s use of deadly force and its pursuit policies.

Six officers in the department were indicted Friday on charges related to the chase, Cuyahoga County prosecutor Tim McGinty said. Patrol officer Michael Brelo, who the prosecutor said stood on the hood of the suspects’ car and fired at least 15 shots through the windshield, has been charged with two counts of manslaughter. Five supervisors have been charged with dereliction of duty for failing to control the chase.

McGinty cited a U.S. Supreme Court ruling last week that said police can’t fire on suspects after a public safety threat has ended. He said the other officers on the scene had stopped firing after the November 2012 chase was over.

Driver Timothy Russell was shot 23 times. Passenger Malissa Williams was shot 24 times. No gun was found on them or in their vehicle. The chase began when an officer thought he heard a gunshot from a car speeding past the police and courts complex, jumped into his patrol car and radioed for help.

Brelo fired 49 shots. None of the other 12 officers who fired shots was indicted, McGinty said.

The police union has defended the officers’ actions and said the driver was trying to ram them.

— Associated Press

WASHINGTON
6 climbers missing
on Mount Rainier

Six climbers who disappeared three days ago on Washington’s Mount Rainier are not expected to be found alive, the National Parks Service said Saturday after search teams found their scattered gear.

Search crews for Mount Rainier National Park found climbing and camping gear in snow more than 3,000 feet below the last known position of the six climbers and also picked up distress signals from the group’s avalanche beacons, said Fawn ­Bauer, a Mount Rainier National Park spokeswoman.

The climbers appear to have fallen or gotten caught in an avalanche of snow, rock and other debris, Bauer said. No bodies have been located, she said. “We don’t believe there was a viable chance for survival,” Bauer said.

The climbing party, including two guides from Seattle’s Alpine Ascents International, set off Monday for a five-day ascent along the north face of the ­glacier-streaked mountain.
They were last heard from via satellite phone Wednesday evening when they had reached an elevation of 12,800 feet in the Liberty Ridge area, Bauer said.

— Reuters

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