Protests began in Cleveland shortly after Officer Michael Brelo was acquitted of all charges stemming from his participation in the shooting of an unarmed Black man and woman after a police chase in 2012. A total of 137 rounds were unloaded into the vehicle Timothy Russell and Malissa Williams were in, with Brelo going the extra mile and jumping on the hood to blast 15 more rounds into the windshield.
Relatives of two unarmed people shot to death by Cleveland police in 2012 had harsh words Saturday after Officer Michael Brelo was found not guilty of all charges.
“We were expecting him to be convicted of at least one of the charges,” said Jackie Russell, sister-in-law of Timothy Russell, said on CNN. “We feel as though basically the judge gave him a pat on the back and said good job for shooting those people.”
“If this case was tried in any other city that police (officer) would be in jail,” said Alfredo Williams, brother of Malissa Williams. “You know it and I know it.”
Protesters took to the street immediately after Judge John P. O’Donnell acquitted Brelo on charges of voluntary manslaughter and felonious assault.
The demonstrators assembled outside the judicial center in Cleveland for two hours following the announcement of the verdict.
Some chanted “no justice, no peace” and “black lives matter,” words heard in Ferguson, Missouri, and New York, where sometimes-violent demonstrations occurred after African-Americans died at the hands of white police officers.
So far the protesters gathered outside the judicial center, marched through various parts of the city and blocked traffic on the Cleveland Memorial Shoreway.
Check out images from the protests and reactions to the verdict below and on the following pages.
Needless to say, Brelo is NOT the type of guy anyone should want on a police force, ever.
Photo: AP Photo/John Minchillo