Cleveland Officer Found Not Guilty on All Counts in Deadly Chase

Cleveland Officer Michael Brelo in court
WKYC Screenshot
Cleveland Officer Michael Brelo in court
WKYC Screenshot

On Saturday a judge found Brelo, 31, who is white, not guilty of voluntary manslaughter in the deaths of Malissa Williams and Timothy Russell, who were both black, according to NBC News.

In the case, he stood on the hood of the couple’s vehicle and fired multiple shots through the windshield. Experts testified at the trial that Russell had 23 bullet wounds and Williams had 24, reported NBC affiliate WKYC.

An estimated 13 other cops, who were not charged, were also at the scene. Brelo was the only officer to face criminal charges, according to the television news outlet, because prosecutors accused him of firing 49 rounds at the victims when they no longer posed a threat.


"Brelo reasonably perceived a threat," Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Court Judge John O'Donnell said Saturday, the report says.

The judge said that while he found beyond a reasonable doubt that Brelo caused at least one fatal wound to Williams' chest, he couldn't determine that the other fatal shots came from his gun, the report says.

Brelo, however, "ran afoul of the Constitution" when he climbed on top of the car, taking action that officers are not trained to do. Brelo could still face lesser charges.

Protests erupted Saturday outside the courthouse, where police wore helmets and riot gear.


Cleveland Mayor Frank G. Jackson is expected to hold a news conference Saturday afternoon.

 Read more at NBC News.

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