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Cleveland officials announced Tuesday that they are terminating six police officers involved in a shooting attack on two unarmed suspects following a car chase in East Cleveland on Nov. 29, 2012. The victims, Melissa Williams and Timothy Russell, were killed at the scene by the massive discharge of gunfire, during which 137 shots were fired.

The Los Angeles Times reported details later that day:

It wasn’t immediately clear whether the fired officers include Patrolman Michael Brelo, who was acquitted of manslaughter charges in May for having fired the last 15 shots of the barrage in East Cleveland on Nov. 29, 2012. City officials didn’t identify the officers by name during the announcement but promised to release documentation about the discipline.

Six more officers who fired during the barrage face suspensions ranging from 21 to 30 days, said Public Safety Director Michael McGrath, the former police chief. Thirteen officers had been notified that they faced administrative discipline, and one of them has retired, McGrath said.

[…] The officers fired at a car after a high-speed chase that involved 62 police cruisers and more than 100 officers. It began when officers standing outside police headquarters mistook the sound of a beat-up Chevrolet Malibu backfiring as a gunshot.

The occupants of the car were killed. Timothy Russell was hit by 24 shots, Malissa Williams by 23.

Steve Loomis, president of the biggest local police union, has called the firings politically motivated and said the union will contest them, the Times also reported.

–Posted by Kasia Anderson

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