Cleveland Police Officer On Trial For Barrage Of Bullets That Killed Two Unarmed Suspects

BRELO_-MICHAEL-J_1408554004487_7468772_ver1.0_640_480The trial of former Cleveland police officer Michael Brelo is in its second week and the jury will consider an extremely disturbing police shooting case where Brelo, 31, is charged with two counts of voluntary manslaughter in the deaths of Timothy Russell and Malissa Williams following a Nov. 29, 2012 police chase and shooting.

We discussed this story earlier of the killing of the unarmed couple.

Brelo, 31, insists that he does not remember standing on the hood and firing the final 15 rounds into the windshield — 15 of a 137-shot barrage. However, a fellow officer said that a few days later Brelo discussed the incident with apparent clarity of memory.

Only Brelo was charged among the 13 officers that night who fired the barrage. In all, however, he fired 49 of the 137 rounds. His counsel insists that he remained in danger until he reached into the Malibu and removed the keys. The theory is that the car was the weapon.

The chase started after a failed traffic stop. Russell sped past Cleveland police headquarters, where his car backfired – making officers believe that there were shots fired. A huge police chase then ensured with over 60 police cars and 104 officers. Trapped in a school parking lot, Russell tried to flee and sideswiped a cruiser and then came to a stop. Another officer opened fire and a barrage ensued.

Brelo insists that he left his cruiser because he said he was afraid the Malibu would hit him. However, he then crossed in front of the car to climb on top of another cruiser and resumed firing. Then later claimed not to remember the incident of jumping on the hood even though his footprints were found on the hood. Another officer later said it was Brelo and asked why he said Brelo was talking about it.

That makes for a difficult and interesting trial to say the least.

103 thoughts on “Cleveland Police Officer On Trial For Barrage Of Bullets That Killed Two Unarmed Suspects”

  1. Max-1 said …

    I’m sure he got his gun experience via the NRA…

    Excuse me, I am sure he did not. Been a member since 1949…in the then named “Junior NRA” and qualified with my first target shotting award in 1950. Still an NRA member. Safety, safety, safety is what was emphasized then, and now.

    Doesn’t mean I agree with all of their positions, or the plethora of cloned combat rifles, let alone the striker fired passive safety mechanism pistols. I chuckle when I think of the number of times my Army issued Stoner type rifle jammed and how to clear it isn’t common knowledge among civilians….it can tighten that old sphincter muscle when it happens.

    None the less, the NRA first mantra is safety. The best NRA sponsored classes for CPL qualification are the 12 hour ones…8 hours classroom and 4 hours range time under direct supervision…where safety is again the discipline required. Worry more about the guys or girls carrying guns who have not gone through the NRA regimen for a substantial period of time.

    BTW…I guess ole Hank Johnson (D-GA) has gotten over his fears of Guam tipping over from too many people & soldiers there. So now his expertise is taken for granted again? 🙂

    As for the repeated blurbs about this unfit dude’s age…y’all better watch out, I’m 72+ and usually carrying. 😀

    Guess because I am an old coot (but not that much older than some of the critics…e.g., you qualify for AARP at age 50 and various forms of SSI, SSD, or full SSA benefits by age 60-65) …and yep I can no longer scale a 20 foot wall, run a 6 minute mile, not even 8, or bench press over my body weight, but so far, my cognizance is intact. Old doesn’t mean automatic dementia.

    Funny thing though, I’ve never pulled that pistol or revolver on anyone anywhere, post uniformed military time, and when done in anticipation now, such as when responding to an alarm for any place I am responsible for (there still are two places), it is always pointed at the ground down my right leg, safety on, finger off the trigger. I refuse to own or carry any pistol without a manual safety, period. The NRA and I disagree on this and I say so now and then, to much criticism. Tough. Then again I am not the DEA guy talking to a group of kids who shot himself in the leg handling his “safe” striker fire pistol. I just can’t be. Simple.

    I suggest the age of the guy is not the issue, but his mental competency to be a LEO, even an auxiliary or “reserve” LEO. We all age differently. In most cities, “reserve” officers, young or old, are used to handle traffic and set up barriers when needed…not routine police work. So, yeah, I think the guy’s PD is not very bright in their use of, and qualification of, “reserves.”

    Thank you, thank you…I’ll be here all day 😀

  2. Game over, we hear many law enforcement officers (and automatic supporters) talk about the public needing to respond to the uniform (if an officer gives you an order, follow it; if an officer pulls you over, do what he says; if an officer tells you to step back, then step back; respect the uniform or the badge, etc.) If law enforcement officers expect members of the public to respond to the uniform or the badge then they tie themselves to all those wearing the uniform or badge. Unless officer misconduct is seen to be dealt with appropriately rather than covered up by other officers and agency management there will be suspicion of those asserting the authority of the uniform and badge.

    1. Richard

      I agree with you. Authoritarianism for it’s own sake is a sick game

  3. I am also old enough to remember when cops would confiscate pot from kids rather then send them to jail over it, and a recreational user of coke wasn’t deemed a drug dealer fit for decades of incarceration just because he had a big stash. I remember when cops used to let you off with a warning sometimes. When there were no checkpoints for seat belts and dui. I can remember parking in front of the airport. I can remember getting on a domestic flight without having a cavity search. I remember cops who didn’t need walk around with their hands on their gun every time they made a traffic stop. I get sick of seeing a silly cop touch my trunk every time I get pulled over three or four times the past decade, because he’s got to leave his prints and remind himself he can get killed. I never used to see that kind of crap, now they think everybody is a potential tango.

    Now if you get paid by the state as part of its monstrously large security apparatus, you always got an answer for such observations. But you can’t answer the cops who could do their jobs without all this militaristic and unconstitutional abuse of citizens.

  4. I can’t tell what happened in this specific case. I think Turley is a good egg to cover these stories however.

    And in the comments– good to see Ray McGovern mentioned. And the Consortium News website. There is a pattern of American imperialism and unjust war, that necessitates more spying all around, including on the citizens. We need another Church committee.

    Today’s neoconservatives are just warmongers. The Republican party has become a one-upsmanship contest for who is the biggest warmonger. There is nothing “right” nor “conservative” about a bunch of war-mongers and spy-state apologists trolling for money from big bankers In our bogus so-called elections.

    Here’s another thing. I don’t care for all the Al Sharptons and all the whining from the black poverty pimps. And the higher rate of violent crime perpetrated by black men is going to naturally cause cops to be faster on the trigger. There is no amount of social conditioning that can change that.

    But– when I see a cop shoot a fleeing black man in the back seven or eight times who has nothing more than a broken taillight and a child support warrant, even I will say that is outrageous and the militarized police forces of this country need to be pushed back hard.

    All the MRAPs, all the swat team crap, it’s like Waco never happened, and Posse Comitatus law is just a dream. it’s got as many holes as swiss cheese.

  5. “Bravo, NIck Spinelli, you nailed it with the obsession question.”

    Obsession? Not even close.

  6. Regarding all of the “cop opinions” – – “Walk a mile in their shoes. And the beauty part is, you are now a mile away and you’ve got their shoes.” Which is a good thing for a bunch of no-name blogging “experts” who consider grainy amateur videos on-the-spot witnessing. And no, I am not saying the Slager guy in S.C. was “doing his duty ” and justified. I just wonder why this unleashes the obvious hatred for all police as though they are a bunch of bounty hunters.

    What we really need is a police force made up of 2,000 Isaacs. If he is too old and de-conditioned to make it through the easiest academy training, then he can persuade his sons or daughters to apply for, pass the tests for, go through academy training so they can graduate and get badged, to be treated forevermore like criminals themselves, risking getting shot in the face because it is their duty to pull a car over that just ran a red light. (How is that for a run-on sentence?)

    What kind of criticism would police be in for if they just let drivers breeze through stops and cause near-collisions? I can hear it now.”Today I saw a cop car at an intersection and this guy shot a red light and the lazy s.o.b. cops just sat there like they didn’t see it – what in the hell are we payin’ em for?”

    But if the cops give chase and the license plate doesn’t match the car ahead and the driver has priors and pulls a gun – then it becomes “The cop didn’t have to provoke the guy by chasing him for a simple breezing a red light. Cops are just over-zealous in writing tickets. . .” Cop more or less deserved getting shot in the face.

    Bravo, NIck Spinelli, you nailed it with the obsession question.

    1. Oh, look more lies

      Until the 1960s,” the report says, “Ferguson was a ‘sundown town’ where African Americans were banned from the City after dark. The City would block off the main road from Kinloch, which was a poor, all-black suburb, ‘with a chain and construction materials but kept a second road open during the day so housekeepers and nannies could get from Kinloch to jobs in Ferguson.’”

      Now Kinoch was an all black town but it was not all blocked off. lololol

  7. Annie,
    Bates wasn’t even a trained officer… he didn’t pass probation back in the ’60s.
    Yet, pay the PD enough money and you get to kill civilians in the street, wear a uniform, a badge, an issued gun… What is wrong with this picture?

    Who protects the people from the police?
    … Especially when the police are using people NOT fully trained and who couldn’t even pass probation in 1964?

  8. Paul C.
    The officer on top of Harris was lucky he wasn’t shot. Period.
    May he count his lucky stars.

  9. Paul C
    And the purpose of said weapons inspection is for the safety of… Say, does this inspection also guid the user to discern between a loaded weapon and a taser? I would hope so… And it appears this 73 year old just failed it, with a dead body to show for it.

    Now, the man was subdued… So why the need to shoot anything at the man? Aren’t we afraid of LEOs shooting other LEOs n the line of action/fire? That LEO that tackled the now dead man ought to be counting his lucky stars…

    1. Max-1 – LEOs do shot each other during fire fights and even kill each other. The situation where we had the 16 officers firing some 400 rounds I was surprised that one or more rounds did not end up in a cop.

  10. Wonka – everyone has an opinion. I think a jury will decide this one.

  11. Ingannie
    The guy who was shot with a cops’ knee on his head said, “I’m losing my breath”, the cop says” Fu*k your breath”. Did you catch that? Unbelievable, these cops need to be fired.

    Remember writing those words, Inga? Or do we have someone who is pretending to be you?

  12. Wonka – Inga’s field is nursing. And she has asserted that the officers should be fired.

  13. I haven’t asserted anything Paul, I ASKED if it was accepted practice. What are you blabbering about again? Since when are YOU a law enforcement expert, Teacher Schulte.

  14. The guy who was shot with a cops’ knee on his head said, “I’m losing my breath”, the cop says” Fu*k your breath”. Did you catch that? Unbelievable, these cops need to be fired.

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