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Ohio Attorney General Points to ‘Systematic Failure’ in Fatal Police Shooting, City Officials Say He’s Wrong

Feb 20, 2013 |

The November police chase that ended with the fatal shooting of two suspects revealed a “systematic failure” in the Cleveland police department, Attorney General Mike DeWine stated last week.

According to DeWine, “command failed, communications failed, and the system failed,” in a news conference that revealed state investigation results of the police chase and shooting.

Even though the officers failed to follow proper police protocol and misinterpreted facts, DeWine believes that the entire police command must ingrain strong methods and training into their officers.

DeWine also said that nearly 60 police vehicles that were involved in the chase failed to follow city policy and joined the pursuit without permission from a supervisor.

Police Chief Michael McGrath fired back at DeWine with a statement that there were “no systematic failures” because the police department has policies and procedures set in place. According to McGrath, the city should really be asking what officers followed procedure or not, in which case those that did not, would be held accountable.

DeWine was shocked at McGrath’s comments and continued to discuss problems with leadership,

“This type of attitude, this head in the sand, refusal to look at the facts, could mean we could have this problem again, and next time we may have an innocent bystander who dies, or police officers who are killed, which could very well have happened this time,” DeWine said. “People in leadership need to take responsibility. The police department system failed these officers and they failed the general public. You can’t look at that report and come up with any other conclusion.”

The reports are being reviewed by Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Timothy J. McGinty and a grand jury will eventually decide if criminal charges are to be warranted. The main takeaway is to not have a repeat incident.