Someone with authority at a Cleveland police district saw hazards in a high-speed police chase last Thursday and ordered officers not to participate five minutes before the pursuit ended in a deadly barrage of bullets on a dead-end road, reports the Cleveland Plain Dealer. Police Chief Michael McGrath said he did not believe a supervisor had requested the chase be terminated. Recordings of police radio transmissions released lat night feature two voices calling an end to the pursuit by 5th District officers of Timothy Russell, 43, and his passenger, Malissa Williams, 30, who police believed had fired shots near the Justice Center in downtown Cleveland.
About 20 minutes into the chase, a man's voice states, “No cars have permission to pursue,” followed by a woman's voice, broadcasting the order, “Fifth district cars, terminate the pursuit.” Minutes later, on an access road leading to a school 13 police officers fired 137 rounds at the couple, killing them. Investigators later found no gun or spent shell casings in the couple's vehicle. The controversial use of deadly force spurred more than 60 demonstrators to gather near the site yesterday, demanding justice for what some have branded “murder by the police.”