Protesters stand outside the courthouse after the Michael Brelo verdict Saturday, May 23, 2015, in Cleveland. Brelo, a police officer charged in the shooting deaths of two unarmed suspects, Timothy Russell and Malissa Williams, during a 137-shot barrage of gunfire was acquitted, Saturday, May 23, 2015. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak)
(Updated 5/23/2015) CLEVELAND (AP) —
As protests continue, few arrests among the angry but peaceful demonstrators are being reported following a judge’s acquittal of a white police officer in the deaths of two unarmed black suspects.
Cleveland police are tweeting they arrested one male for assault. They say he threw an object through a window injuring a restaurant patron.
The Northeast Ohio Media Group (http://bit.ly/1HCVfl6 ) says three people were arrested near Quicken Loans Arena, and officers showed protesters cans of pepper spray as they approached those being arrested.
Some police are wearing riot gear.
About 150 protesters are marching down the middle of downtown Cleveland streets, temporarily blocking intersections as they chant anti-police slogans after a judge acquitted a white police officer of charges in the deaths of two unarmed black suspects.
The protesters passed by large crowds leaving a Cleveland Indians game against the Cincinnati Reds and made downtown vehicle and pedestrian traffic even more congested.
Sports fans are standing at street corners taking cellphone pictures of the protesters as they march behind a large banner that said “Stop murder by police.”
Some residents of Cleveland are looking ahead to what could be the next big moment in tensions with police: a decision on whether to charge a white officer in the killing of a 12-year-old black boy.
About 200 people have pulled up stakes after gathering Saturday afternoon at a recreation center Tamir Rice was killed six months ago. They spoke in angry tones but the gathering remained peaceful. Chants of “No justice, no peace” rang out.
Forty-year-old Latonya Goldsby says: “We just want people to know we’re still standing here six months later.”
Authorities are wrapping up an investigation into the shooting of the boy, who was carrying a pellet gun.
Prosecutors can charge the officer, present evidence for an indictment or rule it justified and not pursue criminal charges.
A court official says the decision to announce the verdict on a holiday weekend wasn’t made lightly.
Administrative county Judge John J. Russo says in a statement that court administrators and local law enforcement agreed that by announcing the verdict Saturday morning, the potential for downtown traffic issues and any resulting impacts could be lessened.
Russo says the main consideration was to not delay the verdict longer than necessary.
He says that “while the wait was difficult for many, it was especially hard on the parties involved in the case and their families.”
Cleveland Police Chief Calvin Williams says that protesters of the patrolman’s acquittal are peacefully exercising their First Amendment Rights.
He has asked at a news briefing that parents keep their children close and make sure they know where they are. He also is asking city residents to be patient in traffic disrupted by protesters
He says the city will not tolerate any violence but is trying to ensure people can exercise their right to protest.
Cleveland Cavaliers superstar LeBron James is not commenting directly on the acquittal, but he is expressing hope the city will remain calm.
He tells reporters that “violence is not the answer, and it’s all about trying to find a solution, for good or for bad.”
Saturday afternoon, neighbors are coming out of storefronts and standing on porches to watch dozens of marchers pass by, almost like a parade.
The protesters are marching about 4 miles from the downtown courthouse to a recreation center where 12-year-old Tamir (tah-MEER’) Rice was shot and killed by a police officer six months ago.
Dozens of officers in police cars and on horseback and motorcycles are following the group while rerouting and blocking traffic.
Protests have remained peaceful throughout Cleveland after a white patrolman was acquitted of killing two unarmed black motorists.
About 80 protesters are marching through a neighborhood after briefly blocking traffic on a downtown highway. Police are following the protesters on foot and in patrol cars and blocking off traffic.
But so far police aren’t trying to stop the group.
The group formed a line across the highway along Lake Erie and stopped traffic for about 10 minutes Saturday.
Protesters have blocked a highway in Cleveland that runs downtown and along Lake Erie.
They have formed a line along the highway, blocking traffic in both directions.
The group had originally gathered downtown, then marched through the streets and crossed a bridge.
Alfredo Williams, left, and Renee Robinson, cousins of Malissa Williams who is one of the victims, protests outside the courthouse after the Michael Brelo verdict Saturday, May 23, 2015, in Cleveland. Brelo, 31, a police officer charged in the shooting deaths of two unarmed suspects, Williams and Timothy Russell, during a 137-shot barrage of gunfire, was acquitted, Saturday, May 23, 2015. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak)
About 200 people have gathered for a mock funeral to protest the acquittal of a Cleveland police officer in the deaths of two unarmed suspects.
Dozens of people walked in a peaceful procession carrying a black, plywood coffin and softly singing “I’m going up yonder, we’re marching, we’re marching.”
The protest is being held in a park near the home of the Cuyahoga County prosecutor who lost the case against patrolmen Michael Brelo.
Marchers also protested the lack of progress in the investigation of the killing of a 12-year-old boy carrying a pellet gun by Cleveland police last year.
Some carried signs saying “Will I Be Next?” and “I Can’t Breathe” and “Freddie Gray Lynched.”
The prosecutor in the case against a Cleveland police officer who was found not guilty in the deaths of two unarmed suspects says he respects the judge’s decision and urged others to do the same.
Cuyahoga County prosecutor Tim McGinty says the shooting reinforces the need for more training and better supervision in the police department.
He noted at news conference Saturday that the department is understaffed.
The Department of Justice concluded in December that the Cleveland police department had engaged in a pattern of using excessive force and violating people’s civil rights.
The city and DOJ are currently negotiating a reform-minded consent decree that a federal judge will approve and independent monitors will oversee.
A Cleveland attorney is asking why patrolman Michael Brelo was the only officer charged in the deaths of two unarmed suspects in a volley of police gunfire.
Paul Cristallo spoke at a news conference Thursday with the family of shooting victim Timothy Russell, who along with Malissa Williams was killed after a police chase in 2012.
Cristallo says even though Brelo was acquitted, one the 13 other officers who fired shots should be charged.
A judge found Brelo not guilty Saturday because it couldn’t be determined which officer fired the fatal shots.
The Justice Department plans to “review all available legal options” after a Cleveland police officer’s acquittal on state charges in the deaths of two unarmed suspects.
Officials say they will review the trial testimony and evidence to determine if “additional steps are available and appropriate” in the federal judicial system.
The department says the review is separate from its efforts to resolve a pattern of civil rights violations at the Cleveland police department. A report in December outlined a string of examples of excessive force, including officers who unnecessarily fired guns, hit suspects in the head with weapons, and punched and used Tasers on people already handcuffed.
Judge John P. O’Donnell found Officer Michael Brelo not guilty on all charges Saturday after concluding that the patrolman was justified in using lethal force. O’Donnell also said it could not be determined who fired the fatal shots.
The lead attorney for the Cleveland police officer who was found not guilty of manslaughter in the deaths of two unarmed suspects says the prosecution spared no expense and “were ruthless.”
Patrick D’Angelo calls the case a “tragedy” that was brought about by the actions of the two people who were killed in a 137-shot barrage of police gunfire.
He says 31-year-old officer Michael Brelo risked his life the night Timothy Russell and Malissa Williams led officers on a long police chase through the city’s streets.
The head of the city’s police union says Brelo was held accountable through the indictment, trial and ultimate acquittal. Steve Loomis of Cleveland Patrolemen’s Association says he hopes the community respects the judge and the process.
At least 30 protesters have gathered at the Cleveland courthouse where a patrolman was acquitted in the deaths of two unarmed suspects who were killed in a 137-shot barrage of police gunfire.
About an equal number of sheriff’s deputies bearing clear shields stood in front of the courthouse shortly after the verdict as the demonstrators chanted “hands up, don’t shoot.”
One man standing in front of the phalanx of deputies bowed his head with hands folded, praying in silence.
The deputies have moved inside the entrance of the justice center, and the plaza in front of the building has been cordoned off.
Officer Michael Brelo faced as many as 22 years in prison had the judge convicted him on two counts of voluntary manslaughter.
A Cleveland officer has been found not guilty in the shooting deaths of two unarmed suspects in a 137-shot barrage of police gunfire after a high-speed chase.
The judge’s verdict Saturday for 31-year-old Michael Brelo (BREE’-loh) comes after a four-week bench trial on two counts of voluntary manslaughter in the deaths of Timothy Russell and Malissa Williams on Nov. 29, 2012.
Thirteen officers fired at the suspects’ car that night in a school parking lot. Yet only Brelo was charged criminally.
Prosecutors said he waited until the vehicle had stopped and the occupants were no longer a threat to step onto the hood and fire 15 rounds into the windshield.
Brelo could have faced 22 years in prison if convicted on both counts.