On November 29, 2012, Timothy Russell and Malissa Williams died from bullet wounds sustained after a high-speed chase with the Cleveland Division of Police. Officers fired 137 shots at the car occupied by the two unarmed residents. Although officers were reprimanded, no charges were immediately filed.
One-year after this senseless tragedy, I had the privilege of aiding in the development of a media strategy. The goal was to not only raise awareness about the case, but ultimately help the family of Malissa Williams receive justice for the violent death of their loved one.
Timothy Russell and Malissa Williams have joined a growing list of other cases involving clear violation of civil rights violations. That list includes Oscar Grant, Sean Bell, Rekia Boyd, Kenneth Chamberlain, Sr., Aiyana Jones, and Jonathan Ferrell. Guaranteeing justice after the fact isn’t a solution for cases such as these; policies and laws must be enacted to prevent them.
One-year after the death of Malissa Williams and Timothy Russell, the families of each victim seek justice, while the community remains vigilant in their requests for accountability and police reform.