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Two Cleveland Supervisors on Trial In Case of Cops Firing 137 Shots to Kill Unarmed Pair

More than six years after Cleveland police fired 137 shots in a police chase and killed two unarmed people, a trial for two police supervisors involved has started.

The trial for Patricia Coleman and Randolph Dailey, who are facing misdemeanor traffic charges, began Monday with jury selection, according to CBS affiliate KDKA-TV.

The case dates back to a police chase Nov. 29, 2012, when an officer reportedly mistook the sound of a car backfiring for gunfire coming from a car Timothy Russell and Malissa Williams were in.

The mistake led to a 22-mile, 125-mph chase that began near the downtown Justice Center and ended in a middle school parking lot in East Cleveland, according to the Ohio news website cleveland.com.

Armored car with bullet holes
An armored car is riddled with bullet holes. This is unrelated to the police shooting and chase that led to the deaths of Timothy Russell and Malissa Williams in Cleveland in 2012. (Photo by Getty)

More than 60 police officers joined in, and 13 officers sprayed the area of East Cleveland with gunshots, the news outlet reported.

Both Russell and Williams were killed in the incident, which attracted national media attention and prompted Cleveland to settle a lawsuit related to their deaths by paying their families $3 million.

Twelve officers were disciplined in the incident. Six were suspended, and Michael Brelo ⁠— who fired 49 shots into the targeted car and jumped on the hood of the victims’ car at one point ⁠— was fired, NBC News reported.

Brelo also faced a voluntary manslaughter charge in the incident, but a judge acquitted him in May 2015.

Charges were initially brought against supervisors Coleman and Dailey in 2014, but their trials were moved from Cleveland to East Cleveland, and were also appealed to the Ohio Supreme Court, the Cleveland news website reported.

Now, Coleman and Dailey are accused of dereliction of duty and traffic violation for failing to manage their subordinates during the chaotic encounter.

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