Justice Denied: Cleveland Cop Who Reloaded Gun Twice While Shooting African-Americans Acquitted


In a verdict that defied common sense, Cleveland police officer Michael Brelo was acquitted on two counts on manslaughter despite climbing on the hood of a car and firing 49 rounds through the windshield at two African-American occupants.

The chase and the shooting began when Russell and Malissa Williams’ car backfired as Russell sped past Cleveland police headquarters. The backfire was mistaken for a gunshot, and the high-speed chase that ensued resulted in more than 100 Cleveland police officers firing 137 shots at two unarmed African-Americans.

Brelo was acquitted today despite the fact that he fired 49 of the 137 shots take at the two unarmed suspects. Brelo even reloaded his weapon twice while standing on the hood of the car.

The LA Times reported that Cleveland Police refuse to meet with prosecutors as the case went to trial:

Before Officer Michael Brelo’s trial began, 16 Cleveland police officers declined to meet with prosecutors to review their testimony about the officer’s shooting of Timothy Russell and Malissa Williams.

Once the case reached a courtroom, seven officers exercised their 5th Amendment rights and refused to testify about Brelo, who prosecutors say leaped onto the hood of Russell’s car after a lengthy pursuit and fired 15 rounds from his pistol, killing both occupants.

Officer Brelo was charged because he fired the final 15 shots after the car was stopped. Brelo got off because it could not be determined that he fired the fatal shots. In essence, the Cleveland Police came up with a new method of executing unarmed African-Americans. It is a version of the firing squad. With so many cops firing shots, it is impossible to determine who killed the two victims.

It defies common sense that Michael Brelo is walking the streets again. The two victims were mentally ill and on drugs, but none of this is a reason for police to use overwhelmingly excessive deadly force.

If Russell and Marissa Williams were white, it is doubtful that the police would have responded in the manner that they did. The ability of the police to get away with murder was taken to a whole new level with the announcement of today’s verdict.

In a story that is becoming all too common, two unarmed African-Americans are dead, and a white police officer will face no punishment.

If you’re ready to read more from the unbossed and unbought Politicus team, sign up for our newsletter here!

29 Replies to “Justice Denied: Cleveland Cop Who Reloaded Gun Twice While Shooting African-Americans Acquitted”

  1. As an american citizen with a HEART and a functioning brain, am I surprised? HELL NO! as a BLACK MAN am I surprised? HELL NO! Theres good reason for that, as a young black child growing up in Detroit in the 1960’s I saw the riots! I saw the city burn! I remember MLK and Brother Malcolm X, I remember the PICTURES lynchings in the SOUTH! I remember the Rodney King trial and how even with video tape evidence, MANY RACIST WHITE americans INSANELY said “DON’T BELIEVE YOUR LYING EYES!” I remember Travon Martin being hunted like a animal and being EXECUTED! I remember Michael Brown being EXECUTED and his body lefted on the STREETS for hours! I remember Eric Garner! I remember Rumain Brisbon!! HOW THE HELL CAN I FORGET!? but whenever ANY A.A.’s talk about this, “WE’RE” called whing, ANGRY BLACK PEOPLE! don’t black people have a legitimate reason to be UPSET?! BTW the GOP has brought those 1960’s feelings back AGAIN! thanks GOP!

  2. “Before Officer Michael Brelo’s trial began, 16 Cleveland police officers declined to meet with prosecutors to review their testimony about the officer’s shooting of Timothy Russell and Malissa Williams.”

    As long as that cover up mentality prevails, police deserve no respect, at least from me.

  3. Reading that I feel your rage but I am so beaten down to the point what difference would it make? We march nothing change. We petition the government nothing change. We riot nothing changes. I just don’t know

  4. The Feds need to move quickly on this. Aint fair. 49 shots!!!??? I hope they don’t give this man his job back.

  5. @Djchefron, I don’t know you but I do know you! you haven’t given up! C’mon man, I’ve read your post! YOU still have the PASSION! Now heres the part that makes ME go into my “LUTHER” alter ego! Watch how WHITE republicans TROLLS will flock here like molding old CROWS piled up on a electrical LINE!! NOTHING PISSES me off more than, KNOW IT ALL “GREAT WHITE REPUBLICAN” and their FUX NEWS/ KKK talking points! See ONLY WHITE REPUBLICAN can articulate how BLACK PEOPLE should feel about being victims of racial bigotry! See ONLY WHITE REPUBLICAN can understand about being slaves in early america! See ONLY WHITE REPUBLICAN can feel the pain of knowing their ancestors were BUTCHED!! RAPED!! had their native language, RELIGION, their COUNTRY, STOLEN from them! See ONLY WHITE REPUBLICAN lived that HELL! See WHITE REPUBLICAN has ALL the answers! NOTE to WHITE REPUBLICAN, talk about things YOU actually SOMETHING about, like inbreding or stealing minorities great inventions! OK!

  6. I watched the verdict read by the judge. What got me was the judge said the only thing that Brelo did wrong was to jeopardize his life and that of other officers when he jumped on the victims car! Un-fxxking-believable!

    The other thing, that pissed me off was the judge mention that the chase ended in East Cleveland “an unknown environment” and apparently Brelo said it was like being in Iraq/Afghanistan. You got to be kidding me!

    East Cleveland can be a rough neighborhood but it’s not a war zone or is it! The police felt like shooting off 137 shots, I guess it is!
    I live near Cleveland!

  7. This verdict is an excellent example of why all black men should be armed – to protect themselves from the police. How do you like that NRA?

  8. Stand on the hood of the car. Ok. Empty his gun into the defenseless occupants. OK. Reload and fire more lead into the defenseless occupants in the car. Oh shit, I’m outa’ bullets! Not a problem, one or two of my 16 thug buddys will lend me more. To serve and kill, legally as it were. And they forced my ancestors to work their fields for free. What do the white people really want? Well allright, not every white human being just the Republican affiliates and Christians(Maybe)? The Republicans, yes they legislated the 8 year rule for Presidents. Some people that just happen to be white, are giving respectable white folk a bad reputation. This police killing unarmed civilians has gotten out of the realm of reality & life as a whole. Law enforcement, even officers that recognize humanity, this basically exposes you all to the crazies that will murder police officers on GP(not general patrol, general principle) it’s out of hand. Way out of hand. The 16 silent officers? They make it wors…

  9. Look I’m a white guy, and folks just need a way to blow off steam.
    It’s no skin off my nose if someone makes a generalization about white folks.

  10. It is long overdue for the Justice Department to go after these “Dirty Harry” wannabes. Reloaded twice?
    Nerves of steel to do that. Or just a sadistic murderer?

    Cops are sadists.

  11. To what degree did the victim’s ‘race and lifestyle’ affect their final fate and why have police adopted an entrenched policy of shoot first ask questions later (towards blacks)?

    Or are we to just to accept this was a case of one cop believing his life was in imminent danger as he pumped 49 desperate bullets whilst his fellow cops had long ceased?



  12. Until we become the jury! I watched a television show! Post Apartheid Whites marched on a South African judicial meeting with full intent on restoring Apartheid! To their surprise, they were met by Black Police Officers equally armed!
    The shootout was not long! The difference was that Black officers now had the tanks and the jury! It was divided equally! The pro Apartheid protestors were convicted , some were executed, some are in prison: all of them were in shock!

  13. A lot! Look at the juries selected. Why is it impossible to try officers with one of the victim’s class and race as a juror! How many blacks served on this jury?
    And yer when the protestors go on trial, this same court will try to tell us that the cops are our peers!
    When this blows up, and it will, let none of the oppressors point to a Black president and say” we have changed” ! Let us point to a besieged president , surrounded by secret service men who allow armed white men to threaten him and his children: because he is Black! Then we will be fed up!

  14. It is too late for help! We are at Rhodesia level now! Disenfranchised, our president held hostage! You have done too much harm to convince us that we need to help the situation!

  15. Social media has brought the killing of unarmed black people to the forefront.

    These murders have happened for decades. Back in the 20’s black people were protesting the killing of unarmed black people (usually men) by cops. Prior to the 20’s it was down right acceptable to kill black people. Evidently, it is still acceptable for cops to kill unarmed black people. Am I pissed. Damn straight. Black folks blood, sweat and tears built this country. It was our manual labor that built this country. And now, today, at least half of white people in this country will not accept us as citizens.

    Until WHITE people stand up and demand change, nothing is going to change.

  16. I agree social media is making this or evident to everyone.

    In most places anyone who is part of a group which commits a crime is equally guilty. I don’t know of legal precedent for saying that because all of them did something it’s hard to know if anyone of them did it. That’s B.S.

    Maybe the judges are afraid to find any cop guilty.

  17. The ONLY way this will end is if WHITES start holding THEMSELVES accountable for their actions. Unlike what the rapper turned actor Common stated on the Daily News about Blacks reaching out a hand to whites for love and putting our past behind us. Blacks can rise up and take to arms and start shooting back at white people and cops looking to kill them, and that will do nothing but escalate an already out of control situation. It will ultimately come down to whites policing themselves. That will be the catalyst to ending racism, which I believe won’t end because whites WON’T.

  18. One would think that the fact that there are officers who’ve paid with their very lives for the animosity incurred by rogue cops would be a wake-up call. That’s an example of the imperviousness to logic and basic decency that allowed that officer to go free. That same imperviousness was responsible for the inexcusable failure of Cleveland’s PD to keep the unstable moron who murdered Tamir Rice from joining their department. He was forced to resign from the one in Independence, Ohio, because of his instability. The problem is systemic and not confined to a few officers. That’s because officers who do try to hold fellow officers accountable are treated horribly. It’s also because too often, juries are loaded with people who have an inexplicable reverence for officers that defies logic because rogue officers are so plainly wrong. I also feel strongly that these things are exacerbated by a disregard for black lives.

  19. After the Justice Department issued one of the most scathing reports ever written on a police department, the Cleveland Police just entered into a binding consent decree with the Department of Justice.
    Calling it a “historic agreement that will transform the way the City of Cleveland will be policed for years and years to come” the Justice Department, which found that the Cleveland Police Department had outrageous patterns and practices of violence and discrimination, new layers of oversight and innovation are being instituted to overhaul the department.

    A 105 page decree, that is soon to be approved by a federal judge, has detailed provisions and policy changes. See more about it here.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.