Union: Judge declines to dismiss Cleveland officer's voluntary manslaughter case in 2012 chase



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CLEVELAND — A judge declined to dismiss the voluntary manslaughter case against a Cleveland officer in the deaths of two unarmed people after a high-speed chase that ended in a 137-shot barrage, police union officials said Sunday.

The Cleveland Police Patrolmen's Association said the decision in the case against Patrolman Michael Brelo was expected and it looks forward to presenting his defense when the trial resumes Monday.

Prosecutors allege Brelo fired "kill shots" through the car's windshield at Timothy Russell and Malissa Williams after they were no longer a danger to anyone's life. Brelo fired his final 15 shots while standing on the hood of Russell's beat-up Chevy Malibu, according to prosecutors.

Brelo's attorneys have argued the shots at the end of the November 2012 chase were lawful because the pair was still a threat until the moment the patrolman reached into the car and removed the keys.

Police union President Steve Loomis said the union has "every confidence in our judicial system."

In statement Sunday night, Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Timothy J. McGinty questioned how that could be when, he said, the union has been encouraging officers not to testify when subpoenaed, the Northeast Ohio Media Group (http://bit.ly/1KlRd1p ) reported.

"Why are they hiding?" McGinty said.

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