The shooting death of Timothy Russell and Malissa Williams on November 29, 2012 was due to a communication mishap. There was a communication misunderstanding between the officers and Timothy Russell. The officers chased the African American couple that was speeding away from them and fired 137 shots at their car. Specifically Michael Brelo, one of the Cleveland officers involved in this cruel shooting, fired 49 rounds after he had climbed onto the hood of the car Russell was driving. Brelo's shooting was the one that ultimately led to the death of the couple. Timothy Russell and Malissa Williams were an unarmed African American couple who only had an empty Coca-Cola can and several crack pipes in their car (Daly, 2014). Both the couple and the police officers relied on subjective judgment which caused misunderstanding in communication and eventually wrong decision making.
Russell had been pulled over for a minor traffic violation by a cop who was guided by racial stereotyping. The cop felt that both Russell and his wife, Malissa, had been buying drugs. Instead, Russell did not stop the car, and he sped away from the police in a wild manner reaching speeds of more than 100 miles per hour (Daly, 2014). Both Russell and the cop misunderstood each other in communication. Mike DeWine, the Attorney General of Ohio, noted that "Perhaps the alcohol and cocaine in his system impaired his judgment" hinting at what might have caused Russell to speed away instead of responding to the pursuit of the police (Daly, 2014). The speeding might have reinforced the cop's belief that the couple might have been buying drugs. In addition, the speeding away made the officers at the scene believe that they were dealing with a driver who was escaping law enforcement without putting into consideration the alternative that Russell might have sped away because he was under alcohol or substance influence.