Last week, police officers with the Cleveland Police Department filed a federal lawsuit for the racial discrimination against them following a fatal car chase that happened two years ago. “The officers – eight white and one Hispanic – claim the department has a history of treating non-black officers who shoot black residents “more harshly” than black officers involved in shootings” (Shaffer).
The case involved Timothy Russell and Malissa Williams who led police on a high-speed car chase. Apparently more than 90 officers participated in chase and both of the African American individuals were shot more than 20 times while a total of 137 shots were fired. At the end of the chase, no weapon was found in the suspects’ car. Both families of Russell and Williams filed a lawsuit that was settled by the city for $3 million (Shaffer). The nine officers primarily involved in the shooting were immediately placed on administrative leave with full pay.
The officers were ordered to serve a 45-day “cooling-off period” in the department gym where they would perform simple tasks. “Additionally, during this period, officers are not allowed to accrue overtime hours or seek out other employment; they are not compensated for court appearances, nor are they eligible to apply for promotions or transfers of any kind” (Griffin). The officers called the duty “menial” and “unpleasant” in the formal complaint.
I would like to hear your thoughts regarding this issue. Do you think that a longer “treatment” for non-African American officers who shoot black individuals is just over a similar situation that involves African American officers?
Griffin, Tamerra. “Cleveland Police Officers Sue Department For Racial Discrimination.” BuzzFeed. Buzzfeed, 1 Dec. 2014. Web. 05 Dec. 2014.
Shaffer, Cory. “Cleveland Police Officers Accuse Department of Racial Discrimination in Wake of Deadly Chase.” Cleveland.com. Northeast Ohio Media Group, 29 Nov. 2014. Web. 05 Dec. 2014.