Cleveland, OH — In what can only be referred to as a travesty of justice and a disgrace to the integrity of police departments nationwide, five officers who took part in the 137-shot, execution-style fusillade that killed an unarmed couple — will get their jobs back.

The sixth cop, Michael Brelo will remain free from jail but has been fired. He has since become a gypsy cop, scrounging for a job at any department that will hire him.

The shooting came at the end of a November 12, 2012 high-speed chase involving more than 100 officers and 62 police vehicles to go after Timothy Russell and Malissa Williams. The pursuit began when officers standing outside police headquarters mistook the sound of Russell’s backfiring Chevy Malibu for gunfire. When the car stopped outside city limits, officers opened fire, perforating Russell with 24 shots and Williams with 23.

The shooting lasted 19.3 seconds. For anyone who’s ever been to a shooting range or is familiar with firing weapons, 19.3 seconds would seem like an eternity as all those rounds were flying down range. To discount the malicious intent of these officers continuing to fire after the first few seconds is outright criminal.

Neither of the victims were armed, or suspected of anything more serious than traffic violations resulting from the pursuit. A search of the vehicle following the double homicide revealed a crack pipe. Both Russell and Williams had been diagnosed as mentally ill.


The city has since paid $3 million each to the families of Russell and Williams to settle a lawsuit.

Brelo, the ring-leading murderer, fired 49 rounds, including the last 15 after he jumped up on the hood of the car in a wild west fashion. In spite of this horrifying display of aggression, a judge acquitted him of manslaughter charges at trial.

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Officers Wilfredo Diaz, Brian Sabolik and Michael Farley and detectives Christopher Ereg and Erin O’Donnell fired the remaining shots in a gross display of excessive deadly force. They were also all acquitted.

Brelo was acquitted in a bench trial after W. Ken Katsaris, a retired sheriff and “expert witness” specializing in testimony tailored to exonerate police officers, testified that Brelo’s only mistake was to expose himself to potential danger, thereby potentially inhibiting his colleagues as they unleashed gunfire in the direction of the vehicle.

By leaping on top of the hood of the car, Brelo was “taking action that is not trained, not recognized, not safe, and put all of the other officers in the vicinity of his becoming a victim and their [the other officers] having to attempt to now engage to save his life,” Katsaris testified before trial judge John P. O’Donnell, who in predictable fashion exonerated the officer.

“We believe that the City’s decision to terminate the other five officers was justified and should have been upheld,” Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson said in a statement this week. “We acknowledge that the arbitrator concluded that those officers committed serious policy violations; however, we are reviewing our options regarding the officers whose terminations were not upheld.”

Naturally, the police funded defense attorney is defending the decision and disgustingly referring to the officers — who murdered an unarmed couple over a traffic violation — as exemplary.

“It was a difficult case for both sides and a gratifying outcome,” defense attorney, Patrick D’Angelo, who represents the Cleveland Police Patrolmen’s Association, the union of rank-and-file officers, said. “We realize we didn’t prevail in everything that we were seeking but we saved the career of five fine officers.”

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In the eyes of the police union, six cops dumping 137 rounds into an unarmed couple is ‘fine’ work.

“Hopefully after further deliberations by both parties, this should be the end of this saga,” D’Angelo said. “Hopefully there will be no appeal and we can go forward.”

As for Brelo, he is still eligible to be hired by other departments. For unloading 49 rounds into an unarmed couple, 15 of which a court, the department, and the arbitrator all agreed were ‘egregious’ in nature, Brelo could very well be back on the street in no time.

“Indeed Officer Brelo never offered a reason or an explanation for these actions,” Arbitrator William Heekin wrote in his ruling. “Accordingly and upon finding that this clearly constituted an excessive use of deadly force, the contention of the City that it amounted to egregious misconduct where as a result the City no longer has trust and confidence in his ability to carry out the duties and responsibilities of a police officer is accepted.”

For clearly using excessive deadly force, however, Brelo and his murderous accomplices will face no consequences.

“It’s tragic that it went down this way, but at the end of the day, two people high on crack cocaine, high on marijuana, one of them intoxicated, made the decisions that they made and we responded to them,” union spokesman Steve Loomis said after the officers were acquitted. “And we responded within our training.”

As the late William Grigg noted in his coverage of this case for the Free Thought Project last year:

This is precisely the problem: Cleveland police, like their comrades nation-wide, are trained to kill people for reasons that will not withstand rational scrutiny — and they are expected to be rewarded for doing so.

Matt Agorist is an honorably discharged veteran of the USMC and former intelligence operator directly tasked by the NSA. This prior experience gives him unique insight into the world of government corruption and the American police state. Agorist has been an independent journalist for over a decade and has been featured on mainstream networks around the world. Agorist is also the Editor at Large at the Free Thought Project. Follow @MattAgorist on Twitter, Steemit, and now on Facebook.
  • Damiana

    There should be a rule against paying out giant lawsuit settlements without taking any other kind of responsibility. Either you’re just throwing money at people who are liars, or you’re throwing money at REAL victims as if it’s some kind of magical fix. Start actually CONVICTING these officers (even if it means hiring special prosecutors who will actually TRY instead of throwing the case for what’s basically a coworker in the legal system) and we eventually won’t HAVE to keep paying these multi-million dollar settlements because cops will QUIT THAT SHIT and those who don’t will be punished enough for the victims to feel vindicated.

    • Guy

      Gee Manise Cat ! Next thing we’ll know, will be that you’ll be asking for better training for cops too.

  • David Daisy May Boldock

    “And we responded within our training.”

    Sad to say but their training is not cutting it.

  • Guy

    “This is precisely the problem: Cleveland police like their comrades nation-wide, are trained to kill people for reasons that will not withstand rational scrutiny–and they are to be expected to be rewarded for doing so.”

    Exactly so. The families got the tidy sum of $ each payed in blood money, so they can now go play the lottery to their heart’s content.

    The Police Department, and its union brothers have all shown solidarity in its contempt of all thouse out side it’s blue lines of affection for one another. Allowing for just one of it’s own to become the sacrificial lamb on the alter, forever know as “The Gypsy Cop.”

    And the City ? Has absolved itself of all responsibility by it’s pay out’s to the families, and support of trial by a arbitrator, who are now looking into other options, because they don’t agree with the arbitrator’s decision to not terminate the other cops involved.

    Hey Folks ! All’s well that ends well ! Just another day in paradise I always say. But if you got any plans on visiting there (Clevland) you might want to reconsider your plans. Especially if your car needs a tune up and is prone to backfires, that causes cops to become very nervous and fearful for their lives, while making sure you hide your crack pipe well, are not of the type that may have mental issues and god help you if your are Black !

    Other than that, why should you give a shit anyway, have fun. just make sure your Iphone is all charged up.

  • Marc Wutschke

    Murderers are murderers no matter if they wear a uniform or not. This decision establishes a license for police to kill indiscriminately and without impunity in Cleveland.

    • Guy

      Then I guess we both agree that Cleveland is all messed up. But were else did you have in mind that wasn’t so much, as far as the Pd is concerned in the Good Ol US Of A. ?

  • whitecat31

    They talk about responding based on their training. Perhaps their training is part of the problem.

  • Daryl Kwas

    Steve Loomis is always victim blaming! He doesn’t want body cams, doesn’t want officers testifying, doesn’t want citizens to film, he just wants it to be like the olden days like the 50’s and 60’s. I live in Cleveland and this piece of garbage always thinks he’s bill bad @$$ with his holier than though attitude. His basic gist is do as I say not as I do and if you do act like I do then we’ll put you down and victim blame. In his eyes a cop can do no wrong and it’s always someone else’s fault we made “his” officers act a certain way. How about de-escalate an issue? How about talking to citizen’s like they are the 1% that donate all of that money to the FOP? This would be a good start. Can’t imagine that would have happened to a person in a suit driving a BMW.

  • Gordon Klock

    The malicious intentions, are pretty blatant, with all that unnecessary, homicidal, firepower…(“gypsy cops are a long term hazard, to their own entire ‘profession’)…I wish the American people could withhold their tax money, forcing some sort of ‘burden of proof’ upon the state, to prove that they don’t intend to rob, rape, & kill everyone, eventually……

  • John C Carleton

    Cops jobs are to brutalize and terrorize Americans. Make them afraid to speak out or challenge the false authority of Washington DC.

  • That ZiNOist

    “We believe that the City’s decision to terminate the other five
    officers was justified and should have been upheld,” Cleveland Mayor
    Frank Jackson said in a statement this week.

    As the Mayor, Frank Jackson has the authority to fire those officers. He won’t because he doesn’t want to catch any shit from the Police unions that would be up his ass if he did, especially following the officers acquittals. So he’s going to fain disappointment in the decision, and act like his hands are tied.

  • ✶*॰ْ⋆✧ً⋆。~ SƘ¡ℕJ☉Ᏸ ~˚*ْ⋆✧ً⋆॰*✶

    Meanwhile … But especially that LAST search ..
    Search: US Court says it’s okay for Police Departments to refuse to hire someone who is too smart
    Search: Supreme Court Rules Cops Can Escalate and Provoke Conflicts With Impunity
    Search: State Lowers the Bar for Cops, Police No Longer Required to Graduate from High School

    *SEARCH: Call a Crackhead’ Slogan Becomes Reality as Police Begin Hiring Actual Crackheads

  • igotplans2

    Something is either incorrect or missing from this story. Where did the other 90+ police officers come in??

  • Tinok Law

    …they have licensed to kill…specially if you’re colored….and get free afterwards…

  • Jamie Hall

    I get the sense that all these lackees, the defense attorney included, beat off to snuff porn, and then make their own version of it during their duty shifts.

  • Ibcamn

    this is what cops are……not hero’s.once in a while a cop will do his job and not run and hide from it,but cops are just terrorists,nothing more.


    How do I get a job as a cop, so that I can legally murder people?

    • Guy

      Just apply, is all you need to do. They will no doubt take care of the rest of it, provided you can speak, walk and chew gum all at the same time, and have a Ged or H.S. diploma. If you are at or are above average intelligence, don’t bother. Because you will be way too smart for em.

  • Ed

    Sure hope these cops spend the rest of their life looking over their shoulder, that will kill them better than a BULLET!

  • crazytrain2

    It’s weird, a 23 minute chase reaching speeds of over a hundred is a “traffic violation?”