Surprise, surprise. A judge in Cleveland, just decided that Cleveland Police Officer Michael Brelo was justified in his shooting of Timothy Russell and Malissa Williams, in 2012. Russell and Williams were gunned down after a 20 mile police chase that begun when their car backfired and police thought it was a gun.
The judge stated in his decision that Timothy Russell showed “no signs of giving up” and that “up to 3 other officers were not convinced” the threat was over. The fact that he was “in a strange place at night” seemed to be a valid reason for the judge. One could reasonable argue that being in a strange place at night is a portion of being a police officer. Brelo was conflicted of the lesser crime of felonious assault because he caused bodily harm to both Williams and Russell, however the judge stated that Brelo was protected because he was justified to shoot them.
Brelo was on trial because he fired 15 shots, including the fatal shots, directly into Russell and Williams’ bodies, while standing on the hood of the car. Brelo’s shots came after all other officers had finished shoot over 120 shots into the car. Timothy Russell and Malissa Williams were shot over 20 times each. The previous 120 shots had already been deemed justified.