East Cleveland Drops Charges Against Three Cleveland Police Supervisors

A car riddled with bullet holes
A 2012 Bureau of Criminal Investigation photo of the car, obtained through a records request. [Attorney General's office]

East Cleveland has dropped dereliction of duty charges against three Cleveland police supervisors who were indicted in connection with a 2012 chase and shooting in the east side suburb.

Two other supervisors still face charges in East Cleveland Municipal Court. In 2014, Cuyahoga County prosecutors accused them of failing to control the chase, which ended in a 137-round shooting that killed motorist Timothy Russell and his passenger, Malissa Williams.

The city dropped the charges against supervisors Michael Donegan, Jason Edens and Paul Wilson, defense attorney David Grant said in a phone call Thursday morning. East Cleveland's law director and prosecutor, Willa Hemmons, confirmed in an email that charges had been dropped. 

“It was a just thing to do,” Grant said. “They didn’t commit dereliction of duty.”

Grant said three of the supervisors reached a resolution with the city’s prosecutor, but declined to comment further.

Charges against Randolph Dailey and Patricia Coleman have not been dismissed, Grant said.

The legal case involving the supervisors has dragged on for years in two different courtrooms. Prosecutors originally charged the five supervisors in Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Court along with Cleveland police officer Michael Brelo, who faced manslaughter charges for taking part in the shooting.

Judge John O’Donnell acquitted Brelo in 2015. Afterward, prosecutors dropped the charges against the supervisors and sought to have them charged in East Cleveland Municipal Court.

The 2012 cross-town chase involved dozens of police cruisers and ended in a middle school parking lot in East Cleveland, when officers fired on the car driven by Russell. Police said they believed Russell or Williams had a gun, but an investigation by the Ohio Attorney General’s Office never found evidence of a weapon in the car or along the chase route.

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