The lawyer representing a Cleveland police officer charged in the fatal shooting of two unarmed suspects said that his client “feared for his life” when he fired 49 rounds into the windshield of the victims’ car.
Officer Michael Brelo, along with 12 other officers shot a total of 137 rounds into the vehicle, with the two unarmed, African American victims inside.
In spite of the fact that neither unarmed party had done anything to make the police believe they had firearms on them, Brelo’s attorney said that 43-year-old Timothy Russell and 30-year-old Malissa Williams were to blame for their own deaths at the hands of police.
Brelo’s attorney added that the 15 shots that his client fired from the hood of the suspects’ car was “to eliminate a threat to his and other officers’ lives.”
Prosecutor Rick Bell disagreed with the defense, arguing instead that Brelo “was shooting repeatedly, he is shooting excessively and he is shooting to kill.”
He added that “evidence will show 15 of the 18 sounds of gunfire are coming from one shooter, from one gun, from one location.”
The Department of Justice had earlier determined that the Cleveland Police engage in “poor and dangerous tactics” as a result of inadequate training.
(Article by Jackson Marciana; image via Buzzfeed)