Cleveland police officer Michael Brelo has been found not guilty on all charges of voluntary manslaughter, reports WKYC, which has live video of the Brelo verdict being discovered. Protestors were on the scene when the Brelo verdict was read, and they shouted things during the tense situation. However, as of this writing, there were no riots or other violence reported.
As reported by the Inquisitr, Brelo was a Cleveland policeman who claimed he didn’t remember climbing on the hood of a car and firing 15 rounds, killing two people. It was a 2012 police chase that ended in tragedy.
The 31-year-old Brelo is white, reports NBC News, and the case drew attention because of the more than 100 bullets that landed in the vehicle Timothy Russell was driving when he drove away with a woman as his passenger. Alfredo Williams, the female shooting victim’s brother, said his sister, Malissa Williams, had 49 bullets in her body. The 137 shots were more bullets than the infamous Bonnie & Clyde duo endured.
“I would take my $10 million to try this case again. [Brelo] has to pay.”
Alfredo blamed Brelo directly for getting on the hood of the car and unloading his gun into Malissa and Timothy, a man who says that police began shooting at the duo even prior to Timothy driving away. Alfredo told the press that he was accused of threatening Brelo and that he believed the police were aiming to set him up in order to silence him as well.
Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Court Judge John O’Donnell delivered the controversial verdict in the highly publicized trial. For those who blame the victims for the presence of drugs in the case, the victims’ family members spoke about drug use not being a blank ticket for police officers to commit murder.
The verdict, which came after a two-year Justice Department investigation into the incident– which initially happened on November 29, 2012 — and others involving Cleveland police has sent shockwaves throughout the city of Cleveland and beyond. Others believe it is a reasonable decision because of a lack of proof beyond a reasonable doubt.
The fact that the couple was unarmed when they were killed is also making members of the community believe their civil rights were violated. The four-week bench trial for Brelo has ended in a manner which many did not expect. The police officers mistook the car backfiring for gunshots, and the mistake led to the 137 shots administered by police.
Russell was 43-years-old at the time of his death, and Williams was 30.
[Image via NBC]