Timothy Russell and Malissa Williams died when the car they sat in was fired on 137 times by Cleveland police in November 29, 2012. While initial reports suggested that Russell and Williams had shot at police sparking a 23-minute car chase, evidence would reveal that not only were the two unarmed, but that police were aware of this prior to the shooting.
Officer Michael Brelo, who fired a total of 39 shots has been indicted on two counts of felony voluntary manslaughter. Brelo jumped from behind a car and raced to the hood of Russell’s car. He jumped on it and fired 15 shots into the car at Russell and Williams, according to Cuyahoga County prosecutors. After an administrative review Officer Donegan was fired along with a number of supervisors and officers being either demoted or reprimanded. The supervisors were initially all demoted, but on January 8, 2015, a judge determined that Sgt. Donegan, Capt. Zouhar and Lt. Wilson were improperly demoted/fired in connection to the incident. The families of Russell and Williams have accepted settlements of $1.5 million a piece.
The supervisors are Donegan, Capt. Ulrich Zouhar, Lt. Paul Wilson, Sgt. Mathew Putnam, Sgt. Patricia Coleman, Sgt. Randolph Daley, Sgt. Jason Edens, Sgt. Brian Chetnick, Sgt. Brian Lockwood, Sgt. Mark Bickerstaff, Sgt. Matthew Gallagher and Sgt. Richard Martinez.