Trial begins for Cleveland PD officer, accused in shooting death

cleveland police officer trial begins

CLEVELAND, Ohio (WKBN) – The trial started Monday for a Cleveland police officer charged with manslaughter in a deadly police chase.

Michael Brelo, 31, faces two counts of manslaughter in connection with the 2012 deaths of Timothy Russell and Malissa Williams.

The two were killed after a chase that ended with 13 Cleveland officers firing 137 shots into Russell’s car.

Prosecutors have said that Brelo fired 49 of those shots.

“He is shooting repeatedly, he is shooting excessively, and he is shooting to kill,” Prosecuting Attorney Rick Bell said. “Evidence will show 15 of the 18 sounds of gunfire are coming from one shooter. From one gun. From one location.”

On Friday, a county prosecutor said most officers are refusing to cooperate with the investigation.

There is no jury, as a judge is hearing the case.

Five supervisors, four sergeants, and a lieutenant face dereliction of duty charges in the shooting. Those trials are scheduled to begin after Brelo’s trial ends.

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