This is a case in which two alcohol- and cocaine-riddled low-level dirtbags were reported to have fired a gun at police, then led 62–that’s SIXTY-TWO–Cleveland PD patrol cars on a night-time 22-mile, 100mph chase through urban Cleveland, until they were cornered in a middle-school parking lot.
At that point the miscreants–Timothy Russell and Malissa Williams–began smashing their 3,000lb 1980s Malibu into the responding patrol vehicles. Thirteen police officers opened fire, firing a total of 137 rounds in 20 or so seconds.
It is uncontested that 122 of those rounds and the first 12 seconds of firing were entirely lawful. The prosecution, however, decided that the last 15 rounds in the last 8 seconds fired by Officer Brelo justified two counts of voluntary manslaughter and two lesser-included charges of felonious assault.
Brelo opted for a bench trial, in which the judge–Judge John P. McConnell–would serve as the jury (a choice the prosecution sought to overrule to force Brelo before a black jury), and yesterday morning the Judge announced his verdict in excruciating detail, in an hour-plus of review of the evidence and law.
The verdict was not guilty on all counts. I took notes of the Judge’s painstaking rationale, and posted them over at Legal Insurrection (NOT GUILTY: Verdict in Prosecution of Cleveland Officer Brelo), but I also encourage folks to take the time to watch the following 35 minutes of video. Trust me, it’s a graduate class instruction in self-defense law. Granted, limited to the facts of this case, but nevertheless very informative.
And it’s free. Who doesn’t like free? 🙂
Here you go . . . enjoy!