It was shortly after the November 29 th shooting deaths of Timothy Russell and Malissa Williams that East Cleveland Mayor Gary Norton asked something of his law director and prosecutor.

He wanted to know if “any charges brought by East Cleveland would be appropriate.”

The answer delivered in a memo to the mayor this past March was yes.

The recommendation? Negligent Homicide. It means the taking of one’s life through one’s negligence. In a nutshell, it’s a misdemeanor first degree charge that could result in six months in jail or a $1,000 fine.

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Other charges recommended include reckless endangerment and discharging a firearm.

“We want to handle this with care,” said Norton in a phone interview.

Russell and Williams were shot to death by 13 Cleveland police officers. It was a chase that started near the Justice Center and would continue for about 23 minutes and end in East Cleveland.

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