On Saturday, an Ohio judge acquitted Cleveland police officer Michael Brelo of manslaughter, the New York Times reports.
During a November 2012 car chase, Brelo, who is white, and other police officers, fired 137 rounds at Timothy Russell and his passenger, Malissa Williams, who were black and unarmed.
Throughout the trial, prosecutors argued that, after other officers had stopped firing, Brelo climbed on the hood of Russell’s car and fired 15 shots at the pair, killing them.
This, they said, was evidence that Brelo had acted recklessly.
Cleveland Police Officer, Michael Brelo, who stood on the hood of a car and fired his gun 49 times through the windshield at two unarmed passengers was on Saturday found not guilty on two counts of voluntary manslaughter
“Police officers fired 137 rounds at the car after it was cornered, prosecutors have said, including 49 by Officer Brelo”
An angry cluster of around 30 protesters gathered outside the courthouse, shouting
“no justice — no peace“
“black lives matter,”
holding signs in front of sheriff’s deputies bearing clear shields.
The plaza in front of the building was cordoned off. One man stood with his head bowed and hands folded, praying in silence.
But some of them crossed the line several times, resulting in 71 arrests.
Police Chief Calvin Williams said in a news conference on Sunday.
His officers were tolerant of protesters who expressed their anger and frustration in a constructive manner, he said.
“We allowed people to express their First Amendment rights,” he said.
“We gave people the space and provided a safe environment for them.”
“We only moved in to make arrests when things got violent and people refused to disperse,” Williams told reporters.
Those arrested included 39 men and 16 women, with juveniles and “other adults” filling out the arrest tally, the chief said.
The charges include felonious assault, aggravated rioting, unlawful congregation and failure to disperse, he said.
The misdemeanors will be charged within 24 hours of the arrests, and the felonies within 36 hours, he said.