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Cleveland Cop Who Fired 49 Times at Unarmed Suspects Found ‘Not Guilty’

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A “not guilty” verdict has just been handed down in Cleveland against one of the police officers who shot a total of 137 rounds at two unarmed suspects.

Two counts of voluntary manslaughter were raised against a Cleveland officer who had been charged in the 2012 deaths of Timothy Russell and Malissa Williams.

The hail of gun fire followed a high-speed chase. Several officers were involved, amped up and apparently hell-bent on unloading on the suspects.

Small protests erupted in Cleveland following the “not guilty” verdict, and the word is activists throughout the state and further are headed to Cleveland to help keep the momentum going.

Judge John P. O’Donnell concluded verdict announcement, saying “I find that the state did not prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant Michael Brelo caused the deaths Timothy Russell and Malissa Williams because the essential element of causation was not proved for both counts.”

The nearly hour-long verdict, involved Judge O’Donnell citing testimony from doctors for the prosecution and defense. That testimony essentially said that while Brelo delivered at least one fatal shot into both Russell and Williams, it was impossible to pin point which of the 137 rounds was the final shot that killed the two unarmed suspects.

O’Donnell, also had the audacity to suggest that Brelo’s use of force was “constitutionally reasonable.”

“It is Brelo’s perception of a threat that matters,” O’Donnell said, explaining that since the officers “thought” that the unarmed suspects were armed, it was acceptable for them to shoot them 137 times.

If Brelo would have been convicted, he could have faced three to 11 years in prison for each count.

O’Donnell added that the community being outraged “will not be expiated by a verdict in a single criminal case.”

There were 13 officers who took part in this massive assault, but because “prosecutors said he waited until the car had stopped and the occupants were no longer a threat to fire 15 rounds down into the windshield while standing on its hood,” Brelo faced the most serious charges.

“Timothy Russell made some bad decisions that night, but it should not be a death sentence,” assistant county prosecutor 0 said to the judge, while nonetheless maintaining the argument that Brelo “acted reasonably.”

NPR’s Carrie Johnson noted that in December, the U.S. Department of Justice determined that the Brelo and the other officers had “found a pattern of excessive force by Cleveland police. The 18-month federal civil rights investigation also found police supervisors failed to document and investigate claims of brutality.”

The Associated Press noted that Brelo’s attorneys arguments, along with “testimony showed that other officers fired during the final barrage and that prosecutors couldn’t prove in what order the fatal shots were fired.”

Because of this, Brelo has gotten away with murder.

Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson is set to speak at 1pm Eastern Time.

Article by M. David and Jackson Marciana SUBMITTED BY JEFFREY DAUGHERTY (

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