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6 Cleveland Cops Charged in ‘Racially Motivated Execution’ After Firing 130 Shots at Unarmed Black Couple in Schoolyard

Six Cleveland police officers have been charged in the shooting of an unarmed black couple in which officers fired 137 shots following a car chase.

Though the incident happened in 2012, it’s still unclear why 43-year-old Timothy Russell and 30-year-old Malissa Williams fled the cops. When police caught up with them, however, they opened fire on the car, killing the unarmed pair inside.

One officer, Michael Brello, actually got up on the car’s hood and fired 15 shots through the windshield. The other officers had stopped firing their weapons but Brelo continued to reload and fired almost 50 shots at the couple inside.

Brelo has been charged with two counts of manslaughter but the other five officers merely face misdemeanor charges and aren’t expected to see any jail time.

Prosecutor Tim McGinty said “this was now a stop-and-shoot – no longer a chase and shoot. The law does not allow for a stop-and-shot.”

Russell was shot a total of 23 times. Williams was hit with 24 bullets. No weapons were found inside the vehicle.

McGinty said “let’s be clear what happened here. He was fully stopped. Escape was no longer even a remote possibility. The flight was over. The public was no longer in danger because the car was surrounded by police cars and 23 police officers in a schoolyard safely removed from pedestrians and traffic.

“The primary danger facing the police at this time was from themselves, if they continued to shoot at each other in the circular firing squad they had inadvertently formed. After the ceasefire, Office Brelo unleashed an unlawful, second barrage of shots.”

Paul Cristallo, the attorney representing Russell’s family, said “this is a historic event. Prosecutors have indicted an officer for manslaughter in an excessive force case. That just doesn’t happen. You have to have faith in the system… the fact that these felonies have been brought against Brelo is unprecedented.”

The other five cops are supervisors who have been charged with dereliction of duty for “failing to control the chase.”

If convicted, Brelo faces eight to 11 years in prison for each manslaughter charge.

About the author

Igor Derysh is the Managing Editor of Latest. com and a syndicated columnist whose work has appeared in The Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, Boston Herald, Baltimore Sun, and Orlando Sun Sentinel, and AOL News. His work has been criticized in even more publications. Follow him on Twitter @IgorDerysh

  • MoMo

    Do you suppose the couple in the car fled because they feared being executed?

    • soleil2020

      that’s what i was thinking.

  • Just Flora

    We don’t really know the reason why they fled but am sure they feared the cops for some reason and lost their lives to the hands of the people that are called PEACE OFFICERS that swore to SERVE & PROTECT!! What a SHAME!!

  • SweetStuff

    Than was not manslaughter…It was straight up….MURDER!!! Really…how come we never read about African-American cops killing white people? Will someone answer the question?

    • Eady Trice Morgan

      Because it doesn’t happen

  • Truthforme

    There is not mention of a crime, except failing to stop for a Police officer, the penalty for which is death!

  • andacar

    The only thing that’s “unclear” about the couple fleeing the cops these days is that the writer thinks it’s “unclear.”

  • Richard Brucker

    Manslaughter? He should be charged with murder!

    • Gort1

      He reloaded….there’s the first degree. .premeditated murder…

  • Denice

    Its funny how cops do something as a group only one gets the charge

  • Wren Manson Chime

    Brello needs to serve prison time.

    • Terry Miller

      you’re right Wren,but even if he is convicted its doubtful that he will ever see any jail time,most likely a suspension…

    • Gort1

      They all need to go away for a very long time

  • Sage

    So many police murdering citizens, the tide will turn and the police will burn, and they will have not one to blame but their own actions.

    • Sage

      I wrote this two days ago and yesterday two police officers where shot while eating in Vegas. I claim no prophecy.

  • Gort1

    Driving while black?

  • Ben Gagliardo

    don’t run from the police