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Police in Cleveland disciplined for high speed chase

June 11, 2013 at 3:43 PM

CLEVELAND, June 11 (UPI) -- A Cleveland police sergeant was fired and several others demoted or disciplined following a high speed chase that left two suspects dead, officials said.

Sgt. Michael Donegan was fired because of "the gravity of your failure to execute your responsibilities as a sergeant of police for the city of Cleveland," said City Safety Director Martin Flask. Two other officers were demoted and nine were disciplined following the Nov. 29 chase, The (Cleveland) Plain Dealer said Tuesday.

Nearly a third of the city's entire police force converged on a 1977 Chevrolet Malibu driven by Timothy Russell and his passenger, Malissa Williams. Police said they thought the pair had fired a gun and gave chase with a massive response despite orders for officers to stop the dangerous zig-zag through city streets.

Eventually police tracked the pair to a middle school parking lot and opened fire, killing the couple. Despite the reports Russell and Williams had fired first no shell casings or weapons were found in the car.

A separate criminal investigation into the department's use of force by Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Timothy McGinty is underway.

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