In yet another sign of our broken justice system, former Cleveland police officer Michael Brelo was found not guilty on all counts in the shooting deaths of Timothy Russell and Malissa Williams.
Brelo’s story dates back to November 2012, when he jumped on the hood of a car and fired more than a dozen shots into the car through the window – one of many officers who fired a total of more than 100 rounds into the car – despite recent evidence showing the cops knew Russell and Williams were unarmed.
In the hours following the shooting, Patrolman James Hummel sent texts in which he said “they all knew” neither of the victims had a gun – that the officers had mistaken a silver can of soda pop for a weapon, prosecutors said.
The texts said that what some of the officers had suspected were gunshots were actually backfires from the fleeing car, that Brelo “was going to be in trouble,” and that “everyone knew Brelo did something wrong,” prosecutors said.
According to the judge, though, Brelo was justified in both jumping on the car hood and unloading into the car on the unarmed couple because it “wasn’t clear that any perceived threat to the officers was over.”
According to CNN,
Emotions ran high outside the courtroom in Cleveland — where public outrage over several recent police shootings has been palpable — after the verdict was read. One woman wept inconsolably on its steps.
Some held up signs, outraged that Brelo was not convicted. One man said:
All I know is that I don’t trust police no more. No police. None. I can’t recover from this. …This verdict isn’t real. This verdict is fake.
Following the verdict, the defense attorney for Brelo slammed Brelo’s prosecution calling it “ruthless.”
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