RICHFIELD, Ohio — A new point of view from the pursuit that ended with 137 shots fired and two suspects killed is being praised by police Union President Jeff Follmer as the ‘perfect chase.’
"When you go 25 minutes in a car chase and no other police cars or police officers got hurt, and no citizens driving through major intersections got hurt, I think that's the perfect chase," said Follmer Thursday morning on WCPN Radio.
Sixty-two police cars from six departments took part in the pursuit, which covered 22 miles and ended when two fleeing suspects, Timothy Russell and Malissa Williams, were shot to death in their car in a school parking lot in East Cleveland, according to WKYC.
The Associated Press reports Attorney General Mike DeWine had previously criticized the pursuit, calling it a failure in communications and police leadership.
According to Cleveland police policy, officers are not allowed to join a pursuit without permission from a supervisor. DeWine said of the 62 officers involved in the chase, 59 of them never asked permission to join the pursuit.
Many officers had switched to the police channel where the chase originated, so they did not hear their own supervisors’ commands to stop pursuing.
"No other citizens got hurt in this pursuit," Follmer said. "It was a long pursuit that went from downtown to the West Side all the way to the East Side. And that speaks wonders for our officers' training, professionalism, and a care for the public that they conducted on that night by blocking intersections, letting the car chase go through."
"I think it would be a dereliction of duty for them to hold off and not be involved to apprehend these perceived armed suspects. And my hat's off to those patrolmen who block the intersections,” said FOP President Lieutenant Brian W. Betley.