Mayor Frank Jackson and several of his top administrators expressed relief and called for calm to prevail in the wake of a Cuyahoga County grand jury’s decision to issue criminal indictments in connection to a double-fatal police chase Nov. 29, 2012.
Here are several highlights from the half-hour press conference held in the City Hall Red Room Friday afternoon:
“The (department) is in the process of implementing a test pilot program for body-worn cameras. … in the next two weeks, testing cameras on over 200 officers in the field. Once that pilot program is completed, the division will implement body-worn cameras for all officers in the department … to ensure that we follow and have the best and safest practices in the division of police. …Our decision was that body cams were the best way to go because they show more of an officer’s day.” — Police Chief Calvin Williams
“The decision of the Cuyahoga County grand jury is a step toward healing our community. In addition to the pain felt by the families of Timothy Russell and Malissa Williams, the community has been very divided by this event. … This decision and this process should give people confidence in our system of justice, and how that system’s working.” — City Council President Kevin Kelley
“I was afraid it would be a no-bill. And the people of my ward were afraid it was going to be a no-bill. That prospect scared me. … I welcome these indictments. We will let justice take its course in the court system.” — City Councilman Kevin Conwell.
“I always take the time to acknowledge the victims and their families, the police officers and their families, and the community as a whole. It was a tragedy.” — Safety Director Michael McGrath
“This process is not over. The citizens of Cleveland have to realize that and allow the process to move forward to its conclusion. I ask that people remain calm. There are plenty of forums out there for people to voice their concerns, and I ask that people do that in a civil manner.” — Chief Williams
“We have always been transparent in regards to this particular incident and we will continue to be that way. And we will stay the course in terms of the process in regard to an administrative review. … We will wait for those who have been indicted until that criminal process is over with.” — Mayor Frank Jackson
SOURCE: James F. McCarty
The Plain Dealer