Timothy Russell, age 42, and Malissa Williams, age 30 were shot and killed in a barrage of bullets after leading Police on a high speed chase through the streets of Cleveland, Ohio. The chase began when an unidentified Officer reported gun fire coming from the vehicle parked outside the Cuyahoga County Justice Center in downtown Cleveland on Nov. 29th. Another officer also reported hearing shots, and sparked the chase near Police headquarters.
ABC Cleveland reported that more than 30 officers were involved in the 25-minute chase, which ended behind a middle school in East Cleveland. In a scene that sounds like it came straight out of a Hollywood epic, 13 officer's fired 137 rounds into Williams and Russell's vehicle. The initial investigation uncovered no weapon or firearm inside of the vehicle, and no shell casings indicating that shots had been fired. Any bullet holes found in the Police cruiser's were as a result of their own gun fire. All 13 officers's were placed on administrative leave pending an investigation by a task force including the local police department, the county police, the county prosecutor and the state criminal bureau is investigating.
This has to be the most excessive use of force that I have ever heard of, and at first glance the source of my outrage was the fact that those officer's probably would not have emptied their weapon's firing at a vehicle with white occupant's. But after reading this story several times, I began to wonder why any sane human being would lead the Police on a 25 minute chase and think that it would turn out to be anything but disastrous. Far too often these stories break and we as African-American's seem to totally ignore the fact some of us act like fools. It almost seems as if we let racism distract us from thinking in-depth. While there is no reason to fire so many shots at anyone, Police shooting African-American's down like dogs, is nothing new. There are times when we cannot avoid being victims. But there are also times when we can. We must think before we act. Unlike like other's we cannot afford the luxury of ineptitude.