A grand jury in Cleveland has indicted six police officers for their roles in a 2012 police chase and shooting that left two people dead and carved deep schisms into the community, the Cleveland Plain Dealer reports. The grand jury charged Patrolman Michael Brelo with two counts of voluntary manslaughter, a first-degree felony. The panel also accused five supervisors of dereliction of duty, said Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Timothy McGinty. Brelo fired 49 shots at a car. He fired his Glock handgun more than any of the 13 officers who unloaded 137 shots at the vehicle after a 23-minute chase that began at the Justice Center in Cleveland and ended in an East Cleveland middle school. Timothy Russell, 43, and Malissa Williams, 30, were killed Nov. 29, 2012. They did not have a weapon on them at the time of the shooting.
“This is a historic event,” said Paul Cristallo, an attorney for the Russell family. “Prosecutors have indicted an officer for manslaughter in an excessive force case. That just doesn’t happen.” Patrick D’Angelo, an attorney for the police union, lambasted the prosecutor and the indictment. He said McGinty’s office had the benefit of hindsight, spending about 18 months dissecting the movements of Brelo made in seconds. “His rendition of the facts is a gross distortion of the reality of the dangerous events that Officer Brelo faced,” D’Angelo said. “He is using soundbites to fit his theory of the case.”