Michael Brelo, a Police Officer in the Forest City, was acquitted of charges of manslaughter stemming from a 2012 incident that resulted in the deaths of Malissa Williams and Timothy Russell. According to the decision written by Judge John P. O’Donnell, the encounter that night began when an officer pulled over by a Cleveland patrolman who saw Russell turn left without signaling after observing Russell do a possible drug deal at a nearby homeless shelter . . .

[Officer] Jordan got out of his car and called to Russell to turn off the Malibu. Before even approaching Russell’s car Jordan saw the fornt seat passenger, Melissa [sic] Williams, turn around and heard her screaming “why the fuck [are you] bothering us?” and “what the fuck did we do this time?” Already weary because Williams was acting “really crazy,” Jordan decided not to pursue the stop…. But before Jordan could end the traffic stop, Russell sped away….

Two blocks later, two other Cleveland police watched the ’79 Malibu speed past, accompanied by what sounded like a gunshot, which turned out to be the start of a French Connection-esque chase through the streets of Cleveland:

The pursuit of the Malibu by Cleveland police that night would ultimately last 22 minutes over the same number of miles, involve about 62 police cars and over 100 officers from several law enforcement agencies and end in a middle school parking lot in East Cleveland with Russell and Williams shot dead by police….

Over those 22 miles Russell ignored more than 100 stop signs and red lights. He exceeded 120 mph. He evaded two attempts by a police car to force him to stop. He sideswiped another police car. He drove over a sidewalk into a pizza shop parking lot and then out of the lot over another part of the sidewalk.

The pursuit–dangerous from the start–neared its climax when Russell turned right on Wymore from Euclid. Wymore runs south past Terrace Road, after which it narrows and becomes a dusty driveway to the parking lot-of East Cleveland’s Heritage Middle School. As the driveway that Wymore became opens up a driver has two choices: a hard right turn onto a road that serves as the entrance and exit to the school lot or a curving right turn onto a road at a higher elevation that goes behind the school to Beersford Road, which goes down to Terrace and up into Forest Hills Park. Russell opted for the first, leaving him with came in: down a road that, seen from above, looks like the barrel of a gun.

Russell raced into that gun barrel and swerved around and up onto an island of grass with a streetlight on it. He drove straight at Wilfredo Diaz, a police of?cer who jumped out of his car to try to arrest Russell when the Malibu appeared stuck on the grass island’s curb. As Diaz dove out of the way he fired three shots at the Malibu. Still the car accelerated down the driveway, straight at Brelo and Moore in car 217, about half a football field away, and past at least two other police cars.

At that point nearly a dozen police officers were firing and Brelo, seeing the Malibu coming directly toward him and thinking its occupants were shooting at him, fired several shots from [his car’s] driver’s seat through the windshield…. Still firing, he leapt out of the car to avoid being trapped and killed inside it. He took cover behind zone car 238 about ten feet to his left. By this time the Malibu had stopped either because the brakes were applied or because it collided with [car] 238 with the engine still on. At the rear bumper of 238, Brelo feared Russell would accelerate and pin him under the police car so he clambered onto the trunk of 238 either just after or just before he loaded the third of his 17-cartridge magazines into his city-issued Glock.

By then over 100 shots had been fired (though neither Brelo nor any other police officer knew that none of them had come from the Malibu), the car was still running and Russell and Williams appeared to Brelo to still be moving. So Brelo, afraid for his life, stepped onto the Malibu’s hood and fired the night’s final 15 shots through the windshield. He stopped shooting with two rounds left in the gun then hopped to the ground, reached through the Malibu’s shot-out
driver’s window, turned off the ear and tossed the keys to the base of its bullet-riddled windshield.

It isn’t clear why Williams and Russell decided to flee when the 5-0 hit the sirens. I haven’t seen any indication that they were specifically up to no good at the time that they came to the attention of the local constabulary. That said, Cleveland.com reported at the time that both Russell and Williams had extensive rap sheets. Russell was a repeat offender whose past convictions included counts of domestic violence, receiving stolen property, robbery, and a couple of ‘failure to comply’ charges (apparently the charge used in the Buckeye state when people try to flee the cops. Williams, on the other hand, had a bevy of convictions on drug charges, as well as one on a count of attempted abduction. Reports from their autopsies indicate that both tested positive for cocaine.

One thing also appears to be clear: neither Williams nor Russell had a firearm. That by itself, of course, doesn’t mean that they were ‘unarmed’; 3,000 lbs. of automobile — even a fourth-gen Malibu — can be a very effective weapon. “Unarmed” is the word being bandied about in the traditional media when talking about this case.

Ultimately, Judge O’Donnell found Brelo not guilty of manslaughter in a bench trial (meaning that in this case, the defendant specifically waived his right to a trial by jury, preferring instead to be tried by a judge.) The Judge found that it was not possible to find beyond a reasonable doubt that Brelo fired the round(s) that caused the death of Williams or Russell. Moreover, he also held:

I find by a preponderance of the evidence that Brelo’s decision to use deadly force against Russell and Williams was based on probable cause to believe that htey threatened imminent, serious bodily harm to him and otheother officers, not to mention the public. I therefore find that his decision to use force was constitutionally reasonable.

This doesn’t mean that the case is over. A local Cleveland Congresswoman decried the verdict, and the Department of Justice announced that it’s looking into the case as well. No doubt a civil case will be waiting in the wings, too.

It is clear that the relationship of Cleveland’s police with the residents of that city has seen better days, exemplified by the Tamir Rice case. Because of that, this decision will have political overtones. But with all that said — and in spite of my own inclination to view skeptically anything said in matters where police use violence against a citizen — I’d say that given the facts here, Judge O’Donnell came to the correct decision.

89 Responses to Cleveland Cop Michael Brelo Acquitted of Manslaughter

  1. Williams and Russell took more hits than Bonnie & Clyde. Brelo himself fired 49 times. The last shots he fired were after everything was over. The Wyatt Earp wannabee was out of control — but Williams and Russell were shot so many times, with so many fatal possibilities, that nobody can say that Brelo actually killed anyone.

    Was it justifiable homicide? No, because there was no proof that Brelo committed any homicide whatsoever. The officer was properly acquitted. And why was he alone charged? Who knows.

    The worst thing about this case was that many of the officers thought that they were taking fire because of car “backfires.” However, the officers were also told by another cop that Williams and Russell were unarmed. His observation was ignored.

    What a mess.

    • Indeed, the problem is, with so many wounds it’s impossible to tell who fired the fatal shots. This difficulty is compounded by the likelihood that they were all carrying nearly identical weapons with nearly identical department issued ammo, making forensics much more difficult. Furthermore, there is no way to determine the sequence of hits.

      In all likelihood, the deceased were dead or mortally wounded at the time of officer Brelo’s mag dump through the windshield. They had already received dozens of hits prior (as evidenced by having each been hit more than 20 times total). This guy got out of control. The “thrill of the kill” took over and he went nuts. He has no business being an officer.

      All this does beg the question though, why were so many shots fired? Why weren’t the other officers involved in at least some disciplinary actions? We’ll never know.

      • Five supervisors were charged with misdemeanor dereliction of duty. According to PJMedia (not sure I believe the article), up to seventy officers have been disciplined so far.

        Also, this officer still remains on leave as his department still has to conclude an internal investigation. I could understand the department firing him for his actions at the end of the incident and I hope that happens.

        • I’ve read so many stories on it that they are starting to mush together. 😉

          Here’s the quote from a link in the TTAG article.

          Cleveland’s police chief, Calvin D. Williams, said during a news conference that, so far, 72 officers had been suspended without pay. One supervisor was fired, and two more were demoted. Administrative charges against three officers were dismissed. The review was paused during Officer Brelo’s trial, but was expected to resume after the verdict.

        • John, I heard something like 19 officers fired their guns. Where did they find 72 that needed suspension?

      • It never ceases to amaze me all of the Monday morning quarterbacking that goes on after these incidents. All of the speculation & conjecture put forth by people who have never, and likely will never use lethal force in their defense. Were you there? Are you a police officer? Are you intimately educated as a subject matter expert for all things pertaining to LE use of force? Let’s not judge based on one article & the Info for contained therein.

        If you feel like these crackheads were wronged, then by all means have them & those like them over for dinner! No, not going to happen is it? Quit judging the police unless you are willing to take the oath & be one yourself. The perceived divide between the police & citizenry certainly isn’t helped by the rhetoric I see in the; “I’m an armchair commando” comments section on this site. The police & the criminals have a delineated divide as it should be. The honest folks have nothing to fear from U.S. Police. Frankly, does anyone really give two shits about to career crackheads going to hell? Face it, they won’t be stealing oxygen from the rest of the good people any more.

        • The honest folks have nothing to fear from U.S. Police.

          BS… A steaming pile of it.

          Frankly, does anyone really give two shits about to career crackheads going to hell?

          I do.

      • >> Indeed, the problem is, with so many wounds it’s impossible to tell who fired the fatal shots.

        This sounds absurd to me. So what, if I gather a posse and we go kill someone, making sure that each of us dumps a full mag, they won’t be able to charge any of us with first degree murder, because there’d be no way to tell who fired the lethal shot?

        • So any moving violation should result in the person(s) being ran down and mag dumped by 13 chickenpoop johnny law officers. Got it. If a car backfire scared those idiots that bad, real bullets would likely result in that PD having to have standard issue depends.

    • Ralph, you and I have seen these kind of people a 100 times in our practices. Williams and Russell lived by the stupid and died by the stupid. The Judges ruled correctly under Tennessee v. Garner, whoever fired the fatal shots.

  2. Cocaine in the bloodstream, fail to stop and driving like a maniac. And somehow it’s the cops fault?

    Boggles the mind.

    • Given that it was a car backfire and these dipshits fired 50 rounds each not to mention this particular dipshit jumping on the hood and doing 1 last mag dump through the windshield, they need to be in another line of work. At the bar minimum they need the Sheriff Taylor to invoke the Barney Fife rule and only allow them to have one bullet in the shirt pocket.

      • As an aside car’s don’t backfire any more unless something’s radially wrong. Electronic engine control and ignition makes this a thing of the past.

        Don’t know why people still say that they hear this.

    • As of Sunday morning, it looks like Cleveland is a riot.I wonder if they will burn down the local CVS as a symbol of protest. It really is all the fault of CVS, you know.

  3. So two cokeheads were driving like drug addicted fiends through a city at high speed, refusing to stop for officers ,and directly threatening the lives of the motoring and pedestrian public. To cap it all they tried to run over an armed police officer.

    Frankly I care not a whit that they didn’t possess a gun. Those tweps asked for a to-go order of supersized hot lead.

    • Funny how the same standard doesn’t apply to cops, who are known to ignore the traffic rules which they so zealously enforce for their own bottom line.

      Kill someone with a cop car? No problem. Point your car at a cop and miss? Summary execution.

      • They are part of the ruling class. They are above us. They are largely above the law. They will occasionally throw one of their own under the bus to maintain appearances.

    • Arrest them and haul them in for driving under the influence. These idiots couldn’t handle real criminals. They would soil their nickers. All this over a car backfiring.

  4. Wow another school shooting! Ban AR-15s and close the gun-show loophole, and things like this won’t happen anymore! Wait, it was cops doing the shooting? At night? After a 22-minute chase that just happened to end in an empty school parking lot? Well–ban AR15s anyway….

    • What the hell? So quick to leap to conclusions that “the other side” is politicizing the unfortunate event – so let’s politicize it? Armalites were brought up… where exactly?

  5. the encounter that night began when an officer pulled over by a Cleveland patrolman who saw Russell turn left without signaling after observing Russell do a possible drug deal at a nearby homeless shelter…

    Huh? So the patrolman saw Russell sell drugs near a homeless shelter, then that patrolman saw Russell turn without a signal, then that patrolman pulled over “an officer”? Either this is a weird story, or somebody needs to proofread before publishing.

  6. Clear threat to public safety and officers based on the actions taken by driver. Justification to shoot (driver), and shoot again until the car stops. But jumping up on the hood to continue firing… well, that seems to indicate that the threat wasn’t the same anymore. I’m not gonna jump on the hood of a car I’m afraid is about to take off.

    I can definitely see why the officer was brought before trial. No problem there. And if he’d been convicted… I don’t think I would have had a problem with that, either. But at the same time there is a high burden to conviction of a defendant. That’s how it goes.

    • But jumping up on the hood to continue firing… well, that seems to indicate that the threat wasn’t the same anymore. I’m not gonna jump on the hood of a car I’m afraid is about to take off.

      Yep.

    • Why did they clown jump on the hood of the car to do one last mag dump if it was concerned of getting ran over?

    • The trial should never have begun, since nobody could tell who killed the twerps, unless every cop who fired was on trial.

  7. NYC2AZ: “I’ll take ‘Riots’ for 800 Alex.”

    AT: “The answer is, This American city will be the next one to burn if Al and Jessie have their way.”

    NYC2AZ: *buzz* “What is Cleveland?”

    AT: “Correct for 800. Pick again.”

    __________________________________________
    *Side note: The above is not an endorsement of the verdict, but rather a criticism of recent national events.

  8. So, at the time they took off, the officer had already decided to end the traffic stop?
    So we had 100 cops and probably thousands of citizens endangered by a wild chase, all over a traffic stop the idiot cops didn’t even want?

    And as for the guy running, any chance he ran because he thought the gang would kill him?
    If so, it looks like he might have been right.

    • What I don’t understand is why the first cop decided to not continue the stop? Because some girl was screaming at him like a maniac? That seems like a good reason to continue the stop not abort it. What am I missing here ?

      • Maybe after hearing enough people call him an evil, racist, babykilling cop, he was thinking, “Why even risk any trouble anymore? I’ll just write the safe tickets against nice, middle-class white people.”

      • So a cop should detain anyone who yells at them?

        What if they just let them go and didn’t pursue? Would they have run 100 red lights etc?

  9. A 3,000 plus pound car, with another few hundred pounds for passengers and cargo, becomes a deadly weapon when driven by a maniac. I don’t have all the particulars, but I might have pulled the trigger (and reloaded) under similar circumstances.

    • They were really scared because of the car backfiring. Everything else just escalated. It was an insane number of wildly random contagious mag dumps going on.

  10. 15 shots through the windshield from the hood!?!?

    He REALLY wanted them dead!

    Holy overkill Batman…

    • While Chris Rock is no supporter of police that video is pretty reasonable. If people followed it there are only two of these shooting incidents I can think of that would have still occurred the same way (the NYPD guy who bounced a shot into someone in the projects and the trooper down in the Carolinas who shot a guy trying to get his wallet out of his car). In this case if the guy would have pulled over no one would be dead.

      But folks that listen to Al Sharpton won’t decide to stop running from the police because of this incident. They’ll take the opposite view.

      • If people followed it there are only two of these shooting incidents

        Think about what you’re saying and the far-reaching implications for a minute. Just stop and think about it. And ask yourself if it’s congruent with a “free society”?

        • The list of things Chris Rock suggests are as follows;

          1 Obey the law.
          2 Use common sense.
          3 (on seeing police lights) Stop immediately.
          4 (on excessively loud music) Turn that s**t off.
          5 Be polite.
          6 Shut the f**k up (rather than throwing a screaming fit).
          7 Get a white friend (rather than a crazy friend).
          8 Don’t ride with a mad woman.

          Most places, 3 and 4 are covered by 1. 5, 6, 7 and 8 could be covered by 2, if you take 7 to mean not specifically a white friend, just not someone who will fail to follow 1, 2, 5 and 6.

          Which of these is not compatible with a free society? Cops don’t shoot people for not being polite or not using common sense, or I would have run out of ammo halfway through the shift yesterday.

          If someone fails to obey the law in a bad enough sense, and doesn’t use common sense and stop immediately, starts fighting and either produces a weapon or goes for mine rather than (going back to obeying the law) following lawful commands when told they are under arrest, they may well get shot. Not for ignoring Chris Rock, but for creating a deadly force situation.

  11. I can see why the judge acquitted Brelo. With that many rounds fired, there is no way to tell whose bullets actually killed Russell and Williams. Nevertheless, three things bother me about the case.
    (1) When shot at, the sensible thing to do is get behind cover, not jump up at close range to and in plain sight of your assailants. Brelo is lucky they weren’t armed.
    (2) I’m getting tired of the practice that, if one cop shoots, all the others do, too. Everyone should be responsible for his own shots. Blind trust in someone else’s judgment isn’t acceptable.
    (3) Shooting at the driver’s side of the car was justified when he tried to run down officers. However, once the car stopped, the sensible tactic was to surround it and wait behind cover, not continue firing.

  12. Meanwhile a 4 year old was shot in the head in Chiraq…ho hum. Po-leece shootings often-and no rioting even when the city authorizes millions for torture reparations. Sorry-this verdict stinks. Jumps on da’ hood and fires 15 boolets? So they can be deader? Yep it’s gonna’ be a long hot summer-arm up…

    • This was not rubber stamped as justified. This was a criminal trial. And according to the post-verdict statement of the lead defense counsel, the prosecutor came loaded for bear, and through intimidation cornered the other officers into taking the Fifth so they too would not become the next victims of the prosecutor’s zeal, which in many ways deprived Brelo of witnesses in his defense.

      • So according to the police union lawyer, the killer cop had to suffer an abusive prosecutor, which is what every civilian on trial gets (one wonders if he would say the same if he were defending a mere civilian). And no doubt the cop was given all sorts of privileges during the “investigation” that no civilian would receive, like “cool-down periods” and the right not to be lied to by the investigator.

        Also note the judge’s statement, which claims a conviction would have required proof that the victims would have survived if Brelo jump onto the hood and fire multiple times at point-blank range:

        “it was impossible to determine beyond a reasonable doubt that either suspect would have survived if not for Brelo’s shots”

        Truly a shocking statement, considering there were 12 other cops mag-dumping into the victims for a total of 137 (!) rounds fired. Just another example of government privilege. You can kill anyone you want, just make sure there’s multiple shooters.

        • Exactly. He knew a judge would let him off where a jury might hang his murdering hide.

  13. Sounds like the Cleveland PD have the “shoot, move” part down, but utterly failed in the “communicate” department.

    Still, seems like a good shoot. Cars are deadly weapons.

    • *Couldn’t edit because TTAG uses a sh!tty commenting system:

      Still, seems like a “good” shoot. Cars are deadly weapons. But, damn, those actions are screwy as hell. Jumping on the hood? Really? Constant mag dumps? Did they even know what they were shooting at?

  14. I have a serious question. If one of us commits a crime and it results in a death, they tend to charge all of us present and involved in the action with a crime related to that death (at least they do in Ohio). If that’s the case then why weren’t other officers facing a judge alongside this officer? I mean, the rest of a group of us would be charged and have to go through the process.

    • Think about the factual scenario a bit. The other officers were firing at a car fleeing a traffic stop, and were justified given the nature of the flight. but then the car stopped, apparently stuck, and Brelo jumped on the hood and emptied his mag–which looks like an execution, not an arrest. From the prosecutor’s perspective, that was his best case, and the rest were losers. What ruined the case for the prosecutor is that the two were probably already dead when Brelo jumped on the hood–which is why the car was stopped against another patrol car with the engine still running.

      • Yeah, I figured something like that already. Thanks for clarifying the thoughts for me. On the other hand, this was a chase based off of a possible drug deal. I don’t think that the officer could’ve believed he had strong PC if he was just about to let them go from the stop. So, there is apparently weak PC and then a chase driven farther and faster by officers. They opened fire based upon something that wasn’t a threat. Sure, the officer(s) that initially heard the backfire might have been somewhat justified but those that engaged in sympathetic fire couldn’t have been. I guess where I’m getting stuck is that the problem was initiated by officers and ended by officers in deaths. They even had more communication than many criminals who have been charged thusly; the officers had radios. Perhaps if other officers could expect to be charged like the rest of us, they would be more likely to stop their fellow officers or at least not play along. We go into a bank and I decide to rob it. You don’t try to stop me and maybe even hold a bag for me because you are in a state of shock. I out run you but kill someone along the way. AFAIK, they would charge you too in Ohio for the death as if you killed the person yourself.

        My thoughts on it are imperfect but I still seem to see something there in the trend that doesn’t sit well with me. It’s probably nothing and I’ll see that clearly over time. Again, thanks for the response.

        Even control of the chase is under scrutiny:
        http://hosted2.ap.org/OHHIL/2f6bbf1b92d643569484b0f7da8c768b/Article_2015-05-23-US–Cleveland%20Police%20Shooting/id-055b4a1e3efe4a73a256f26cf789ee1e

        In addition to the charges against Brelo, a grand jury charged five police supervisors with misdemeanor dereliction of duty for failing to control the chase. All five have pleaded not guilty and no trial date has been set.

    • The laws you are thinking of only apply to conspirators in a crime that results in murder. It does not appear that anyone is suggesting that the other officers undertook criminal acts (or they, too, would have been charged with something). If one person acts criminally out of a group of otherwise lawful people the law does not apply.

      And that’s why I bet we’ll see most of those people charged in the biker shootout get that charged tossed eventually.

      • “Conspirators”… that’s the word I couldn’t think of! It has been a busy weekend here at the farm and I’m exhausted. So, for my thought to have validity, they would’ve had to conspired together in a criminal act. (Of course, the charge would’ve had to have been murder for the primary officer?) In this case, my mind was drifting to the stop and/or the chase being criminal. The radio traffic could satisfy conspiring but I think the criminal aspect of it is flimsy unless they specifically stated, “we have nothing but let’s mess with them anyway.” Of course, there’s zero indication that any sort of communication happened. I believe that I understand the error in my process on this. Thanks. 🙂

    • @John – to clarify, there are charges pending against other officers present at the scene. This was just the first one to go to trial.

    • There are a few typos in the quoted text bc it was taken from a scan / OCR of the text of the decision, unfortunately. I tried to grab them, but there were obviously more than I noticed when I did a quick run-through before submitting. I’ll clean it up when I get a minute and ask Dan to re-post.

  15. Yep, lead cops on a high speed chase all over the city, ramming cop cars, and it may not end well. Who would have guessed?

  16. One of the notable parts of the story is the number of wounds sustained by the passengers. But dead is a binary outcome, being shot more often does not make anyone more dead, although it may hasten the latency to death.

  17. While Officer Brelo did fire lethal shots at the two people, testimony did not prove that his shots caused either death, according to the ruling of Judge John P. O’Donnell of the Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Court. “The state did not prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant, Michael Brelo, knowingly caused the deaths of Timothy Russell and Malissa Williams,” he ruled.

    ??!? 137 rounds were fired by 13 officers. They only try the goof ball that stood on the hood shooting into their window terminator 2 style. He is acquitted because they can’t prove that his shots killed the victims. What about the other 12 officers? I would say shots killed the victims. If me and my 12 friends pursued a coke head, cornered him in his vehicle so he could not escape, and then shot at them 137 times – all 13 of us would be in prison.

    Patrick A. D’Angelo, one of Officer Brelo’s lawyers, said his team was “elated” with the verdict, and he blamed an “oppressive government” for bringing the charges. “We stood tall; we stood firm,” Mr. D’Angelo said, “because we didn’t do anything illegal. We didn’t do anything wrong.”

    Seriously!???

    • 137 shots from 13 officers is about 10 shots per officer…and as far as you going out with friends and hunting down addicts, here’s two major differences. You and your friends are not police who have been entrusted by the public with that duty. Secondly, you hunting down and murdering addicts is a crime. What happened here is two criminals started a very dangerous pursuit from a traffic stop that they were about to get out of. They then drove a 3,000 lbs weapon at a couple officers, resulting in the use of lethal force.

  18. Why do so many commentators insist on taking only one side or the other? Reality and life are seldom that simple. Were the people in the car wrong to start and continue the chase? Simple answer: yes. Maybe they “feared for their lives”, as the police will surely argue, but that’s no excuse for what they did. Where the police correct in shooting at them at the end of the chase? From what I’ve read, it was probably justified, if they did try to run over an officer. But…that is not the real issue with the police response. The real issue is the excessive and overzealous response of the police. How many shots were fired? An officer jumps onto the hood of the car keeps firing after it is obvious to others that the occupants are dead? This same officer fired forty something shots? Not only excessive and overzealous …. I would call it out of control. Someone else pointed out they were filled with more lead than Bonnie and Clyde. Say what they want, or what you want — it doesn’t change the facts – both parties in the incident are in the wrong.

  19. How stupid, possibly a rhetorical question, can Brelo be to jump onto the hood of a car to fire into the passenger compartment. In his statement he alleges that he was terrified for his life. Obviously that terror did not survive 100 previous rounds and the presence of his fellows in blue. This moron should not be a police officer due solely to his poor judgement if nothing else. I can understand the judges reasoning in this case but not the reasoning of the officer.
    Note bene: 100 rounds!!!! I’m not seeing a need, or justification, for that.

  20. From the viewpoint of protecting the public this whole scenario was stupid and tragic. The people in the car made terrible decisions but once the police started firing the couple knew they were marked for death. Hard to blame them for trying survive as long as possible.

  21. You give them Justice and they still do not like it. The officer was tried and found not guilty. Sometime the Justice systems does not rule like we want. For those people demanding Justice when an officer shoots someone justified or otherwise, the only thing they want is a guilty verdict no matter what the facts are. If you are a CCW holder you should be worried about this trend to find anyone using a firearm guilty of a crime no matter what the facts are.

    • First, it’s a CHL in Ohio (Concealed Handgun License). Second, not everyone who is legally armed has a CHL because Ohio is an open carry state. Lastly, there are places in Ohio that anyone who uses a firearm in self defense would be seen as guilty right out of the gate… That is, unless they were a cop and then the assumption is usually the opposite. It’s getting better here though.

  22. Standing on the hood of a car and blasting multiple rounds is straight out of a fantasy action movie. This is not even seen in war. But it appears to be acceptable behavior in our Police? Waaaaaaaaaaaay screwed up. All the good cops better start coming together and find a way to stop this crazy crap.

  23. Holy cop hating. You guys try having someone almost run you over on purpose and not shoot them. What’s the rule, shoot until the threat ceases? So what if he shot 15 rounds after they tried to run him over. So what if they each fired 50 rounds. The vehicle was still moving while they where firing right? Bunch of hypocrites. Here’s an idea, go get some use of force training. You know, the training that you guys don’t think you need to carry a gun; or judge police actions.

    • Are you saying that the cop who climbed onto the car hood and emptied the mag into the windshield did so while the vehicle was moving?

      • I should have been clearer, but I was posting from my phone. I changed focus mid-paragraph. I went from referring to Brelo jumping on the hood and shooting to the rest of the officers who were shooting at the car (and people inside of the car) prior to Officer Brelo jumping on the hood and shooting. Apologies.

  24. Does anyone really believe that a backfiring beater ’79 Malibu needing a tuneup can do over 120 mph? Give me a break. I had a ’69 Goat with a 400 cu. inch V-8 with a four-barrel carburetor that could do just over 120 mph after I did my monthly tuneup! And the ride was scary. My ’78 Firebird with the same size engine was even slower thanks to the mandated air pollution crap on it. Then again, maybe the backfires were in the minds of the Wyatt Earp Syndrome beholders.

  25. I don’t get this whole thing. Couldn’t Rambo Brelo have been charged with ATTEMPTED homicide, regardless of whether Bonnie and Clyde were stone cold dead at the time of his point-blank shooting? Besides, there’s no evidence that they were in fact dead. Did a coroner pronounce them dead? So they were still alive in the eyes of the law. Also, exactly what crime did Bonnie commit? Guilt by association? Assistant driver in an out-of-control backfiring jalopy? Mouthing curses in the presence of a cop? Good thing there weren’t any equally guilty children in the back seat of the car, they would have been summarily executed just like the woman was.

  26. This case is such a cluster…I would also agree that based on the facts and evidence the Acquittal was the right call, but the utter overkill by ALL LEOs involved in this is mind boggling.

    The victims are indeed unsympathetic, but I personally believe they were executed in cold blood. If no one is every held accountable for executing unarmed people in your community, I wouldn’t hesitate for a second to flee from the Gang Banging Thugs doing the executing!

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