June 5, 2015
December 1, 2012: East Cleveland Police Chief Michael McGrath announces that the thirteen officers involved in the shooting are on administrative leave for three days.
December 4, 2012: Cuyahoga County Medical Examiner Thomas P. Gibson ruled Russell and Williams’ deaths homicides.
March 14, 2013: The U.S. Department of Justice announces that they will investigate the CPD’s use of force, looking to see how officers are held responsible for uses of deadly force.
April 24, 2013: Results of the CPD’s internal review show that 61 percent of officers on duty on the day of the chase did not violate procedure, and 65 percent of supervisors on duty did not violate procedure. Those who did violate procedure face disciplinary action from the department. These numbers include all 329 officers who were on duty that day, around 200 of which did not have any part in the chase.
June 11, 2013: Following disciplinary hearings, Police Chief McGrath announced that Sergeant Michael Donegan was fired for failing to take control during the chase, Lieutenant Paul Wilson was demoted to the rank of sergeant for failure to communicate well during the chase and Captain Ulrich Zouhar was demoted to the rank of lieutenant for staying in police headquarters and failing to supervise. Nine other supervisors were suspended without pay for between three and 30 days.
June 18, 2013: All twelve officers involved in the chase, excluding Brelo, returned to full duty.
November 28, 2013: The families of Russell and Williams filed documents suing the city of Cleveland, the CPD and the officers involved in the chase for wrongful death. In the suit, they cite insufficient oversight and training for officers. “This tragedy of two unarmed people who were shot and killed unnecessarily would not have happened but for the pervasive failure of control, supervision and monitoring of the police department,” said attorney Terry Gilbert to The Plain Dealer.
March 5, 2014: The CPD begins a new chase policy, which says that police chases can only be initiated in the case of an “alleged violent felony” or drunk driving. The policy also says that, without approval from supervisors, no more than two police cars can be involved in a chase. According to Police Chief McGrath, these changes were instigated before Russell and Williams’ deaths.
May 30, 2014: A Cuyahoga County Grand Jury indicted six of the officers involved in the chase, including Brelo. Brelo faced the heaviest charges, with two counts of voluntary manslaughter. The other five officers, sergeants Randolph Dailey, Patricia Coleman, Jason Edens, Donegan and Lt. Wilson, were all charged with dereliction of duty for their failure to communicate properly during the chase.
July 16, 2014: Cleveland settled Russell and Williams’ family’s lawsuit for an undisclosed amount, pending approval from the Cuyahoga County Probate Court.
November 17, 2014: Russell and Williams’ families were awarded a total of $3 million in settlement money, split evenly between the two.
November 29, 2014: Nine of the officers involved in the chase (Erin O’Donnell; Christopher Ereg; Michael Farley; Cynthia Moore; Michael Rinkus; Salupo; Brian Sobolik; Sistek and Diaz) filed a reverse racism lawsuit against the CPD, alleging that because they were not African American (all of the officers, except Diaz, identify as white; Diaz identifies as Hispanic) they were treated more harshly than African American officers in situations where African Americans were killed.
December 4, 2014: U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder announced that the Department of Justice had found a pattern of excessive force used within the CPD. “We have determined that structural and systemic deficiencies and practices—including insufficient accountability, inadequate training, ineffective policies, and inadequate engagement with the community—contribute to the use of unreasonable force,” reads the report.