CLEVELAND -- A Cuyahoga County grand jury started to answer the question communities have been asking since the chase ended in November 2012.

Police had killed Timothy Russell and Malissa Williams. But was it right?

"They are our heroes, but they too must answer to the law if they break the law," said Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Tim McGinty has he announced the indictments of six Cleveland Police officers.

Instead of a chase and shoot, McGinty said it became a stop and shoot situation. Out of 137 total bullets fired, Officer Michael Brelo pulled the trigger 49 times. He fired at least 15 of those shots, including fatal shots, at close range from the hood of Russell's car, said McGinty.

"The law does not allow for a stop and shoot and Officer Brelo is liable for his actions," he said.

Brelo faces two first degree felonies for manslaughter, a crime that carries mandatory jail time. Each count carries a sentence of three to 11 years behind bars.

Five supervisors were also indictment on misdemeanor charges of dereliction of duty. They are accused of not managing or controlling the chase, endangering the public and the officers they were supposed to be leading.

Those supervisors include Sgt. Patricia Coleman, Sgt. Randolph Dailey, Sgt. Jason Edens, Sgt. Michael Donegan, and Lt. Paul Wilson.

McGinty said this was not an indictment of the entire police force. The other 12 officers who fired their weapons will not face criminal charges. But they could still be disciplined by the city.

"If these deaths resulted in no change, if things didn't get better because of this, it would be terrible," said David Malik, who represents the family of Malissa Williams in a pending civil case.

Malik and attorney Paul Cristallo, who represents the Russell family, agree while the pair weren't angels, they were in fact victims.

"Whatever their lives were, whatever had occurred on that evening, they certainly didn't deserve to be really kind of hunted down by 60 police cars. And shot in a barrage of 137 bullets," said Cristallo. "I don't think there's any question about that."

The Cleveland Police Patrolmen's Association suggested in a news conference held after the indictments were announced that it was the officers who were the good guys.

"These were the bad guys today. Not us," said Jeff Follmer, president of CPPA. "We had to do a job, and we had to do our job that day. Our reactions were based off their actions."

The indictments are only the beginning of the legal process, said McGinty. For for some, it's a step toward justice.

"If the criminal trial proceeds, evidence is going to come out and I think that the public is going to come to greater appreciation for how terrifying this was for Tim and Melissa," said Cristallo.

A Cleveland Police news release said Brelo has been immediately relieved of duty and placed on unpaid leave. Prosecutors say Brelo will likely be arraigned next week.

The other officers will be reassigned to restricted duty, according to the release.

Starting Monday, police officials say they will begin an internal administrative review for the officers who were subject to the grand jury, but were not charged in the shooting.

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