Justice Dept. to review officer’s acquittal in 2 deaths
CLEVELAND (AP) — The Justice Department says it will “review all available legal options” after a Cleveland police officer was acquitted on state charges in the shooting deaths of two unarmed suspects.
Justice officials say they will review the trial testimony and evidence to determine if “additional steps are available and appropriate” in the federal judicial system.
A judge today found officer Michael Brelo not guilty in the deaths of Timothy Russell and Malissa Williams, who died in a barrage of police gunfire in 2012 after a long chase.
Thirteen officers fired at the suspects’ car that night in a school parking lot. Only Brelo was charged criminally.
Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Judge John P. O’Donnell said he could not determine whether Brelo alone fired the fatal shots.
If convicted, Brelo could have faced up to 22 years in prison.