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Crime and Courts


Cleveland police unions are divided on the future of their chief
The patrolmen's union says McGrath should have supported them in the shooting investigation; but the union representing commanders isn't joining in
by WKSU's KABIR BHATIA


Reporter
Kabir Bhatia
 
In The Region:
Cleveland’s two police unions are apparently divided on whether Chief Michael McGrath should resign.

At a press conference yesterday, the Cleveland Police Patrolmen’s Association cited low morale and the chief’s lack of support during the investigation into a car chase and fatal shooting last November.

But Cleveland Councilman Jeffrey Johnson says he’s heard a different reaction from the Fraternal Order of Police – the union representing the force’s commanding officers. He says Chief McGrath needs time to get all of the facts.
Cleveland police unions divided on Police Chief

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“The resignation is just more of a public distraction, and that may be the goal of what the CPPA really wanted to do. They don’t really have anything there that says a police chief should step down," says Johnson. He maintains the chief is trying to stay neutral, so making statements supporting officers before his investigation is done would be inappropriate.

Johnson maintains Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine overstepped his bounds by saying “a systemic failure” resulted in the 22-minute chase involving 60 units. Police fired nearly 140 rounds and killed Timothy Russell and Malissa Williams after the chase ended in East Cleveland. Officers maintain the chase started after they heard gunshots coming from the car.
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