Thu August 29, 2013
Cleveland Police Chief Bans Officers From Firing At Moving Vehicles
Cleveland police chief Michael McGrath says officers are now prohibited from firing their weapons at or from a moving vehicle as part of a review of the agency's use of force policies.
McGrath says the ban is in line with national practices and is meant to protect officers, suspects and bystanders. McGrath says the only exception is cases where deadly force other than a vehicle itself is being used against officers. The review was initiated in the wake of the November slayings of two unarmed African-Americans who allegedly led officers on a high-speed chase. Officers fired 137 shots at Timothy Russell and Malissa Williams. McGrath says the review by the Police Executive Research Forum shows use of force policies are sound and on par with national standards.
Cleveland police union president Jeff Follmer says the ban is unfair to his members.
Follmer says Williams and Russell were killed after they tried to ram a cruiser and injure an officer. A study by the Ohio Attorney General found widespread failures of police command, control and communications leading up to the chase. Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson disputed those findings.