(CLEVELAND) – In an unprecedented effort to be transparent and provide information to the public, Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine today released reports and investigative documents on the November 29, 2012, high-speed chase and subsequent officer-involved shooting of Timothy Russell and Malissa Williams. The Attorney General's Bureau of Criminal Investigation (BCI) was requested to assist with the scene in the early morning of November 30, 2012, and on December 3, 2012, was asked by the Cuyahoga County Sheriff and East Cleveland Chief of Police to be the lead agency in the investigation of this incident.
Below are excerpts from Attorney General DeWine's remarks. They can be directly attributed to him.
"This is a tragedy – a tragedy for Timothy Russell, a tragedy for Malissa Williams, and a tragedy for their families. This has also been very tough for each of the law enforcement officers involved.
"To state the obvious, this chase could have ended without tragic results if Timothy Russell had simply stopped the car in response to the police pursuit. Perhaps the alcohol and cocaine in his system impaired his judgment. We will never know."
"Police officers have a very difficult job. They must make life and death decisions in a split second based on whatever information they have in that moment. In a situation like this, they are under tremendous stress. But, when you have an emergency, like what happened that night, the system has to be strong enough to override subjective decisions made by individuals who are under that extreme stress.
"Policy, training, communications, and command have to be so strong and so ingrained to prevent subjective judgment from spiraling out of control. The system has to take over and put on the brakes.
"On November 29, 2012, the system failed everyone."