Cleveland Police Under Investigation After Unarmed Couple Killed In Hail Of 140 Bullets

196px-ClevelandpdPolice are investigating a bizarre case of police panic where 115 police officers may have been involved in a car chase and mass shooting incident where two unarmed individuals were killed in a hail of 140 bullets in Cleveland. Police reports contained erroneous or false information on the scene that led to the deaths.


The car chase in November involved two individuals in a 1979 Chevrolet Malibu. Officers David Siefer and James Hummel were following the Malibu when they reported over the radio that they thought they saw the passenger turn in her seat, get onto her knees and extend both arms toward the rear window as if she was holding a gun. Siefer yelled “He’s pointing the gun. He’s pointing the gun out the back window. Heads up. Heads up. Passenger is pointing a gun out the back window. Everybody be careful.” Siefer later admitted that he never saw a gun.

After the chase, the car eventually pulled into a middle school parking lot. The first shots were reportedly fired by Officer Wilfredo Diaz. He was also the first to the car and found Malissa Williams and Timothy Russell, 43, dead . . . and unarmed. They were found to have drugs in their systems.

The city believes that 115 officers were involved in the either the chase or the shooting or both — that is one-third of the officers on duty that night. Some 13 officers fired their weapons despite that fact that no one had shot at the officers. Officer Michael Brelo reported that he saw “the suspects moving and I could not understand why they are still moving, shooting at us. Even through Iraq, I never fired my weapon. I never have been so afraid in my life.”

Some officers assumed that the firing had started from the car while others thought they saw an officer hit or a report of shots fired.

Police frantically searched for a gun, including bringing in a dive team and search crews along the roads. While there are gunpowder residue in the car and on the two suspects, the large amount of rounds fired into the car could easily explain that positive reading.

A police mechanic also found that the car was in a condition that could easily have produced a backfire sound from the engine.

Source: Cleveland

Kudos: Michael Blott

101 thoughts on “Cleveland Police Under Investigation After Unarmed Couple Killed In Hail Of 140 Bullets”

  1. Gene,

    I thought you would appreciate the political skill involved. Mike DeWine lost his Senate seat to Sherrod Brown.

    He’s not a bad guy … a good Catholic in that he is anti abortion and same-sex marriage but he is also very pro gun control. However conservatives don’t trust him to follow the script and liberals don’t like his stands on gays, abortions, etc.

    But he is, first and foremost a politician, and I believe the wording of that statement proves it. Atty Generals always support the police.

    1. Hmmmmm, the word general and police. Hmmmmm, yep they would support each other. Generals support killing, police support the same activity. In spirit they are both the same seeking their own.

  2. What is interesting about that statement Blouise is that it both identifies causation (human error) but also places blame (the “system”) in such a way as to avoid accountability.

  3. “Clearly officers misinterpreted facts, they failed to follow established rules, there’s no doubt about that.”

    Mmmm. Causation. Tasty, tasty causation.

  4. “We’re dealing with a systemic failure in the Cleveland Police Department; command failed, communications failed. The system failed. Police officers have a very difficult job. In a situation like this, they were under terrible stress. When you have an emergency like what happened that night, the system must be strong enough to override the subjective decisions of individuals who are under that extreme stress. The system has to take over and put on the brakes. Clearly officers misinterpreted facts, they failed to follow established rules, there’s no doubt about that. However, by failing to provide the adequate and necessary structure and support, the system itself failed the officers. On Nov. 29, 2012, the system failed everyone.” (Ohio Atty. General DeWine)

    1. How could a police force ever succeed at all even from the very conception not being like Jesus is who is selfless doing good to others? The fallen human mind calls force good. There is also the armed forces. Cub scouts, and Boy scouts prepare them for that idolatry. Police as they are is equal to aforementioned idolatry. Both promise that they will protect. What do they do? You can answer that.

    2. How could a police force ever succeed at all even from the very conception not being like Jesus is who is selfless doing good to others? The fallen human mind calls force good. There is also the armed forces. Cub scouts, and Boy scouts prepare them for that idolatry. Police as they are are equal to the aforementioned idolatry. Both promise that they will protect. What do they do? You can answer that.

  5. Winning? You aren’t even making sense much less winning. As for insult? You should have thought about that before you got snarky. Remember, reciprocity is a two way street.

    Now . . .

    The proximate cause of the shooting here was the misidentification of the suspects as armed.

    If you think otherwise? Prove it.

  6. Why . . . that was perfect gibberish not related to proximate cause or causal analysis at all. But as to ignoring causation or an argument? I’ll leave that up to you.

    The proximate cause of the shooting here was the misidentification of the suspects as armed.

    If you think otherwise? Prove it.

  7. GeneH,

    Now I know that I am succeeding.
    “Bag of hot air”.
    When GeneH resorts to abuse then I know I am winning.

    Explain the injustice system to me in terms of proximate and ultimate causes as opposed to a planned and practiced system of repression

    Nighty night. I guess as usual all have left this blog a long time ago.

    Self-centered is OK, and I used it to characterize you and the rest of us.

    But “imbecile” in retort by you exceeds the guidelines of the blawg, as you have reminded me many times. But I can not threaten as you can. Tant pis.

    Obtuse, Kettle vs pot. You are known as the chief one-liner here. Although there are those who would compete on that.

    Fini for now.

  8. GeneH,

    We are not in sync´, but this will have to do. I dont´’t write rapidly. Slow thinking process?

    Chaos by Gleick was read many years ago. At least 20. Then it was Fractals by Benoit Humperdink, the IBM man. Genius. Sorry, I am not punning your name.

    Besides you know more than I do. That was conceded long ago.

    Denying the causation or the planned and well executed system of persecution practiced in our injustice system, is not a way out.
    Ignoring that argument is not either. But typical of yourself.

    If hit, ignore the blood and continue hammering your points.

    Well known political method. What, me worried, says Obama when challenged by 20 Senators on his power to imperially kill. ” I say we need this for our security against terrorism, as I define it”, with the aid of 200 AG lawyers, including Holder as front man who tested the waters once upon time.

    I do not recall that you lead the chase on the Aaron Swartz blog. Did you?

    I will retire now and resume after more sleep. Have a good time all.
    0430 here.

  9. id707,

    And you are an imbecile, but that – like your opinion of me – is meaningless. However if your comment was for Mike S then you should have addressed it to Mike S instead of being obtuse. However, none of that changes that you are a bag of hot air on the issue of causation versus blame and I’m calling you out on it.

  10. GeneH,

    You are self-centered. The comment was meant for MikeS. Did not want to embarrass him with my praise. Praise can be demeaning, even if it is not intended to be so. Clarity of purpose is often obscured by its surroundings or the paucity/plenty of words.

    As for self-centered, we all are. It is built into our genes. No pun intended.

    But you, like I once did, look for snarks pointed at you, at least from me. I gave it up a long time ago. I look NOW even at your comments with no prejudices, etc.

    I am not compelled to joust with anyone now. Nor am I implying that you are either. That is solely my declaration, and I make it.

    PAX GENANUS!!! My latin is poor. Bet you love it. 🙂

  11. “As for infinite regression to getting beyond the proximate cause, that is a good stopper but not relevant in real systems.”

    An entire profession disagrees with you. Infinite regression is a problem that has real world consequences such as “analysis paralysis” (too much information can cripple analysis as much as too little information and PC limits information by relevance) and remote causation (i.e. irrelevance – if you go far enough, the Big Bang is the source of everything). Proximate cause is the answer to those problems.

    I don’t care whether you buy it or not.

    Also, your understanding of the Butterfly Effect seems flawed. I suggest reading “Chaos” by James Gleick.

  12. GeneH,

    Sorry I missed your first post in reply with OED.
    I made the second post not aiming at you at all. But your reply follows the previous track.

    Causation, A most appropriate choice. I thought you chose it in preference to CAUSE, because it has two more syllables than CAUSE.

    However we see from OED that the word is defined by pointing at itself. Causation is the action of causing. Great. One more reason to NOT use the OED.

    As for infinite regression to getting beyond the proximate cause, that is a good stopper but not relevant in real systems. Never trust mathematics unless it is proven in the physical world. Math is fun, etc. but not always relevant. Non-linearity, chaos, fractal character, the butterfly effect are popular concepts which may be significant.
    (Butterfly effect! Ridiculous—we, ie reality is not poised on the edge of chaos waiting for someone to fart in the cashout line at the grocery store. So I don’t buy only the popular concepts there. There are dissipation effects to brake any such small effects. But the complexity and couplings remain)

    Of course, farting, ours and those of other animals, may produce a greenhouse effect.
    ——————————–

    No, let me skip the non-linear system argument and go back to the causation question.

    When a system of control is established. It will be refined, improved, tuned, etc to the point that it is effective, and only backup measures are necessary in most cases. It, at times, may even be manned by those who don’t get the message (the hidden one, not the obvious rewards offered for embracing and exploiting it for own use.) Such a system is our system of injustice as practiced by the many layers of the system: from jailer, bailiff, DA, judge, etc. But the ultimate purpose remains effectively in force. Control.

    Vague pointings in the direction of our leaders is not enough.
    There are much hard data collected to be more precise in our accusations.
    And some abuse is obvious. Aaron Swartz was not the first victim.
    Nor was Lee J. Cobb as a result of not playing footsie with HUAC,
    See link:

    http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/JFKmockingbird.htm

  13. Some know what words mean and what constitutes proper analysis of causation. Some don’t. No names, don’t want to embarrass anybody.

  14. Most feel that the world orbits around them. Others here show that they know (at times) that it does not. No names, don’t want to embarrass anybody.

  15. Lord, give me strength:

    “Steven Seagal will help Sheriff Joe Arpaio train his posse”

    by Marisa Gerber

    February 7, 2013, 7:00 a.m.

    America’s self-styled toughest sheriff is teaming up with an action star.

    http://www.latimes.com/news/nation/nationnow/la-na-nn-sheriff-arpaio-steven-seagal-20130207,0,855193.story?track=rss&utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+latimes%2Fmostviewed+%28L.A.+Times+-+Most+Viewed+Stories%29

    Steven Seagal will lead a training session about school shootings Saturday at the request of his pal Joe Arpaio — an immigration hardliner and the brazen sheriff of Arizona’s most populous county, Maricopa, which includes Phoenix.

    Seagal will train Arpaio’s volunteer “posse,” which boasts about 3,500 members and tackles an array of issues, Arpaio told the Los Angeles Times. Among other duties, they help patrol busy malls at Christmastime.

    “I said to myself, ‘Hey, let’s transition the mall patrols to the schools,” Arpaio said. “The mission is to patrol the perimeter of the schools as a prevention measure.”

    December’s massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., raised the nation’s consciousness about threats to schools. After 20 children and six adults were slain at Sandy Hook by a gunman with a semiautomatic weapon, President Obama called for tighter gun controls and the National Rifle Assn. called for putting armed guards in schools.

    On Tuesday, Maricopa deputies arrested a 16-year-old boy who was accused of threatening to shoot another student and having a loaded handgun in his possession, the sheriff’s department said in a statement. Deputies have responded to a couple other school-related gun threats in the last few weeks too, Arpaio said.

    “That triggered me,” he said. “Wait a minute, this is in our own backyard.”

    He hopes Seagal’s tutoring at an elementary school northeast of Phoenix will teach the volunteers what to do during school shootings, Arpaio said.

    One of the topics? Room-entry tactics.

    The training will be “an active type of real scenario,” he said. “That’s how you learn.”

    The posse will carry guns during the exercise, but they won’t be loaded.

    Seagal, 60, plays a tough guy on screen and has worked in law enforcement. He used to be an occasional deputy for the Jefferson Parish sheriff in Louisiana, where he also had a reality show, “Steven Seagal: Lawman.” And just last month, he was sworn in as a deputy in a rural New Mexico county that patrols a swath of the U.S.-Mexico border.

    A friend recently told Arpaio that getting help from a big-name actor like Seagal would attract more attention, the sheriff said. The octogenarian lawman laughed, he said, then responded: “The sheriff draws the attention.”

    (“Stop the world, I want to get off.)

  16. OED sez:

    blame /bleɪm/

    verb:

    feel or declare that (someone or something) is responsible for a fault or wrong: the inquiry blamed the train driver for the accident

    noun

    responsibility for a fault or wrong:

    causation /kɔːˈzeɪʃ(ə)n/, n.,

    the action of causing something:
    ___________________

    When you speak of “fall guys” you are confusing the two whether you like it or not, id707. The proximate cause of the shooting was a wrongful identification of the the suspects as being armed whether it was an intentional lie or not, regardless of the cause of that lie being a personal failure on the part of the officer or a failure in his training. It is the event sufficiently related to a legally recognizable injury to be held to be the cause of that injury. Unless you use proximate cause as a stopping point of analysis, almost every analysis becomes bogged down in the problem of infinite regression.

  17. Meanwhile, in LA:

    L.A. County Sheriff’s Department intends to fire seven deputies

    The seven belong to a secret law enforcement clique that allegedly celebrated shootings and branded members with matching tattoos.

    http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-jump-out-boys-20130207,0,7728636.story

    By Robert Faturechi, Los Angeles Times

    February 6, 2013, 7:41 p.m.

    Seven Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputies have been notified that the department intends to fire them for belonging to a secret law enforcement clique that allegedly celebrated shootings and branded its members with matching tattoos, officials said.

    The Times reported last year about the existence of the clique, dubbed the Jump Out Boys, and the discovery of a pamphlet that described the group’s creed, which required aggressive policing and awarded tattoo modifications for police shootings.

    The seven worked on an elite gang-enforcement team that patrols neighborhoods where violence is high. The team makes a priority of taking guns off the street, officials said.

    The Sheriff’s Department has a long history of secret cliques with members of the groups having reached high-ranking positions within the agency. Sheriff officials have sought to crack down on the groups, fearing that they tarnished the department’s reputation and encouraged unethical conduct.

    In the case of the Jump Out Boys, sheriff’s investigators did not uncover any criminal behavior. But, sources said, the group clashed with department policies and image.

    Their tattoos, for instance, depicted an oversize skull with a wide, toothy grimace and glowing red eyes. A bandanna with the unit’s acronym is wrapped around the skull. A bony hand clasps a revolver. Smoke would be tattooed over the gun’s barrel for members who were involved in at least one shooting, officials said.

    One member, who spoke to The Times and requested anonymity, said the group promoted only hard work and bravery. He dismissed concerns about the group’s tattoo, noting that deputies throughout the department get matching tattoos. He said there was nothing sinister about their creed or conduct. The deputy, who was notified of the department’s intent to terminate him, read The Times several passages from the pamphlet, which he said supported proactive policing.

    “We are alpha dogs who think and act like the wolf, but never become the wolf,” one passage stated, comparing criminals to wolves. Another passage stated, “We are not afraid to get our hands dirty without any disgrace, dishonor or hesitation… sometimes (members) need to do the things they don’t want to in order to get where they want to be.”

    Department spokesman Steve Whitmore said starting the termination process shows that Sheriff Lee Baca “does not take any of this lightly and will move forward with the appropriate action.”

    Investigators were less concerned about the tattoos, and more focused on the suspected admiration they showed for officer-involved shootings, which are expected to be events of last resort. The deputy told The Times, however, that investigators reviewed their shootings and arrests and found nothing unlawful.

    “We get called a gang within the badge? It’s unfair,” he said. “People want to say you have a tattoo. So do fraternities. Go to Yale. Are they a gang?…. Boy Scouts have patches and they have mission statements, and so do we.”

    “We do not glorify shootings,” he continued. “What we do is commend and honor the shootings. I have to remember them because it can happen any time, any day. I don’t want to forget them because I’m glad I’m alive.”

    If the firings are upheld, it would be one of the largest terminations over one incident in the department’s history. In 2011, the department fired about half a dozen deputies who were also said to have formed a clique. Those deputies worked on the third floor of Men’s Central Jail and allegedly threw gang-like three-finger hand signs. They were fired after they fought two fellow deputies at an employee Christmas party and allegedly punched a female deputy in the face.

    As part of the widening federal investigation of the Sheriff’s Department, a criminal grand jury recently subpoenaed the agency for materials relating to deputy cliques, specifically citing several of the groups including the “3000 boys” and the Jump Out Boys.

    When the pamphlet revealing the existence of the Jump Out Boys was initially found, officials didn’t know if the group was real. But eventually, one member came forward and named the others, according to an official who asked for anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to the media.

    The seven deputies can fight the department’s decision to fire them.

    1. Read the “Choir Boys”, from an earlier era, same practices seen with slightly different eyes.

      Now the Feds are investigating. They don’t like gangs who compete with their control of things, I guess. Feds uber alles.

  18. A police riot is a good word for what happened here. I think the original officer who claimed to have seen a weapon did initiate the madness, but he had a lot of willing comrades. Training will help, but this mentality of covering their own asses when a bad cop or a wrong cop does something wrong has to change.

  19. Causation is for real. Blame is a moral concept, and completely irrelevant in reality systems. And we are embedded in one, like it or not Plato.

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