Homicide

Latest on Cleveland verdict: Protesters gather at courthouse, chant 'hands up, don't shoot'

  • Michael Brelo hugs his attorney, Patrick D’Angelo, after the verdict in his trial Saturday, May 23, 2015, in Cleveland. Brelo, a patrolman charged in the shooting deaths of two unarmed suspects during a 137-shot barrage of gunfire was acquitted Saturday in a case that helped prompt the U.S. Department of Justice determine the city police department had a history of using excessive force and violating civil rights. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak)

    Michael Brelo hugs his attorney, Patrick D’Angelo, after the verdict in his trial Saturday, May 23, 2015, in Cleveland. Brelo, a patrolman charged in the shooting deaths of two unarmed suspects during a 137-shot barrage of gunfire was acquitted Saturday in a case that helped prompt the U.S. Department of Justice determine the city police department had a history of using excessive force and violating civil rights. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak)  (The Associated Press)

  • FILE - In this April 9, 2015, file photo, Cleveland police Officer Michael Brelo listens to testimony during his trial in Cleveland.   Brelo 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, May 23, 2015 for Brelo  comes after a four-week trial on two counts of voluntary manslaughter in the deaths of Timothy Russell and Malissa Williams on Nov. 29, 2012. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak, Pool, File)

    FILE - In this April 9, 2015, file photo, Cleveland police Officer Michael Brelo listens to testimony during his trial in Cleveland. Brelo 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, May 23, 2015 for Brelo comes after a four-week trial on two counts of voluntary manslaughter in the deaths of Timothy Russell and Malissa Williams on Nov. 29, 2012. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak, Pool, File)  (The Associated Press)

11:50 a.m.

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.

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11 a.m.

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.