By Ed Gallek
CLEVELAND – The FOX 8 I TEAM is investigating a firestorm growing out of a Cleveland Police supervisor’s decision to call off a chase after an officer reported someone in a car fired a shot at him.
Cleveland Police have tight restrictions on chases, but what happened here has officers furious, since this case involves officer safety.
The incident happened late Tuesday night off east 95th and Garfield. Police radio tape has an officer calling out that someone fired one shot at him, he’s right behind the car, and the car was going 50 mph.
Other police cars roll that way to help.
Then the call comes to terminate the pursuit “if you are out of the city.” The main officer responds the suspect has come back into the city.
But then a supervisor calls off the chase for good. He can be heard saying, “I cannot get through on the radio. You’re gonna have to terminate the pursuit. You’re not allowing me to get info.”
The officer answers back, “This male shot at me. You’re telling me to disengage. That what you’re telling me?”
The boss then responds, “You’re out of control. You’re not allowing me to monitor the radio.”
Officers believe the same vehicle may have been used to ram a police car last week.
We contacted the Chief’s office about calling off a chase after gunfire toward an officer. A spokesman wrote, “The decision to allow or terminate a chase is influenced by a number of factors such as time of day, auto and pedestrian traffic, weather conditions, and suspect behavior, and the crime committed with the highest emphasis placed on public safety. The sector supervisor will make the final determination if officers can continue or terminate.”
The officer was not hit by the gunfire. And as of late Wednesday, there had been no arrests.