On Saturday, Cuyahoga Common Pleas Judge John P. O’Donnell ruled that Cleveland police officer Michael Brelo is not guilty of two charges of voluntary manslaughter in connection with the November 29, 2012 police chase and shooting that ended in the deaths of Timothy Russell and Malissa Williams. According to Cleveland.com, O’Donnell also concluded that Brelo was not guilty of the lesser included offense of felonious assault because he was legally justified in his use of deadly force. Brelo, 31, was one of more than 100 police officers to participate in a 22-minute police chase, and one of 13 who shot at a 1979 Chevy Malibu. The shooting ended in the deaths of the driver, Russell and the passenger, Williams.
Last Thursday, the family of Akai Gurley, filed a wrongful death lawsuit in Brooklyn’s Supreme Court against NYPD police officer, Peter Liang, the officer’s partner at the time, Shaun Landau, the New York City Housing Authority, the New York Police Department and the city of New York. In November, Officer Liang shot the 28-year-old while Gurley and his girlfriend had just entered the darkened Brooklyn housing-project stairwell. In February, Officer Liang was indicted on several charges, including second-degree manslaughter and criminally negligent homicide. As reported by The New York Times, lawsuit claims that Mr. Liang shot Mr. Gurley “without reason or provocation” and “negligently and recklessly.” It also says that the housing authority “created a hazardous and traplike condition” by failing to provide adequate lighting in the staircases. Additionally, the suit charges that the officers did not perform or request medical aid after the shooting. And it says that the city was negligent “in training, hiring, supervision and retention of the police officers involved in this incident” and on training officers on “the use and abuse of power while in the field.”
That same day, six Baltimore police officers were indicted on charges with the death of Freddie Gray. The indictments came after prosecutors presented evidence to a grand jury for two weeks, reports CNN. The six officers face charges that, if they are convicted, could lead to decades in prison, based on their alleged actions including Illegal arrest, misconduct, assault and involuntary manslaughter. The charges the grand jury returned differs slightly from charges Baltimore City State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby announced earlier this month as all six of the officers now face charges of reckless endangerment. The officers are scheduled to be arraigned on July 2.
KFOX14 obtain exclusive footage from the Texas attorney general demonstrating what happen to Sergeant James Brown prior to his death. The decorated 26-year-old was on active duty at Fort Bliss in July 2012 and served two tours of duty in Iraq, when he left his family for the weekend to self-report for a two-day DWI sentence at the El Paso County Jail. When he checked in, jail records showed that Brown reported to the jail that he was diagnosed with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. The video showed Brown having an episode in his cell that caused him to bleed. When he refused to answer or speak to the jail guard, a team of El Paso County jail guards in riot gear rushed into his cell. Brown repeatedly stated he could not breathe. By the end of the video, Brown’s physical condition appeared to deteriorate, showing shallow breathing and becoming unresponsive. Brown was placed on a gurney, wheeled out of the jail and taken to University Medical Center where he was officially pronounced dead. His family is suing for damages, claiming violation of the American with Civil Liberties Act because of Brown’s PTSD, excessive force and lack of proper medical attention. According to KTRK-TV Houston, the federal civil case is expected to go to trial this October.
A Chicago cop has been accused of punching a pregnant woman in the stomach. The incident happened in the 5100 block of West Washington near an apartment complex on May 15 when Nicola Robinson and others laughed after a suspected drug dealer fled from officers. Robinson told Fox 32 News, “As I got ready to walk in my building he punched me on my right side as hard as he can.” After he assaulted her, Robinson said, “After he punched me, he presumed to say ‘you Black b–ch, you better be glad I didn’t hit you hard enough to make you lose your f—king baby.’” Robinson said a woman with the management company told her the apartment building security camera videos clearly showed the officer punching her. The assault sent Robinson, who is eight months pregnant, into premature labor. She spent five hours at West Suburban Hospital under observation, before she was able to go home. The Independent Police Review Authority is investigating the incident.