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Michael Brelo Verdict: Justice Department to Review Cleveland Cop's Shooting

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The Department of Justice announced Saturday it will review the case of the Cleveland police officer who hours earlier was acquitted in the deaths of two unarmed black people.

Michael Brelo, who is white, was found not guilty of voluntary manslaughter Saturday morning in the November 2012 killings of Timothy Russell and Malissa Williams after a car chase. Federal officials said they plan to "review all available legal options" to determine whether any additional steps were necessary in his case.

A Department of Justice investigation — opened in part because of Brelo's case — found last December that Cleveland police had engaged in a pattern and practice of excessive force and violating civil rights for years, finding officers fired shots unnecessarily, hit and punched suspects, and used Tasers on people who were already handcuffed.

This review, the department said, would be separate from that.

Brelo mounted the car that Russell and Williams were in and fired a barrage of bullets into their windshield while standing on the car hood. He was one of 13 officers who fired a total of 137 shots at the car, which backfired while it passed the Cleveland police headquarters.

IN-DEPTH

—Elizabeth Chuck

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