Twelve Supervisors Face Discipline Within Cleveland Police Department

Disciplinary hearings will begin later in May, but for now the community will move forward with news that 12 Cleveland police supervisors will face charges.

One captain and 11 sergeants will face some level of disciplinary action, according to Police Chief Michael McGrath.

The charges stem from the Nov. 29, 2012, police chase and shooting that left two unarmed people dead. As enshrined in local lore, 137 (!) bullets were fired at Timothy Russell and Malissa Williams.

With supervisory leadership called into question, the internal review points to 12 employees: Capt. Ulrich Zouhar, Lt. Paul Wilson, Sgt. Mathew Putnam, Sgt. Michael Donegan, Sgt. Patricia Coleman, Sgt. Randolph Daley, Sgt. Jason Edens, Sgt. Brian Chetnik, Sgt. Brian Lockwood, Sgt. Mark Bickerstaff, Sgt. Matthew Gallagher and Sgt. Richard Martinez. On a semi-related note, calls have sounded for McGrath himself to step down - for much the same rationale.

McGrath said he maintains his confidence in the department.

When asked how he would handled the night's events if he were working on the street, McGrath said: "In hindsight, I probably would have acted differently."

An as-yet-unannounced news conference will deal with the individual officers and their compliance with department policy. As Mayor Frank Jackson has illustratively said throughout the process, if the officers are found to have stayed "in the box" of police protocol, they'll be fine.

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Eric Sandy

Eric Sandy is an award-winning Cleveland-based journalist. For a while, he was the managing editor of Scene. He now contributes jam band features every now and then.
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