Less than two weeks after Cleveland Police Officer Michael Brelo was acquitted of manslaughter for his role in the deaths of Timothy Russell and Malissa Williams, he was charged with assault for allegedly punching his brother in the “head, face, and body.”
A warrant for Brelo’s arrest was issued today, but the alleged fight itself took place on May 27—just five days after Brelo’s May 22 acquittal—in Bay Village, a Cleveland suburb. Mark Brelo, Officer Brelo’s brother, was charged with assault and disorderly conduct following the fight.
In November 2012, Brelo and other Cleveland police officers fired 137 shots at Russell and Williams, who were inside Russell’s car following a police chase. Brelo shot 49 times total. According to prosecutors, 15 of those shots came after Brelo’s fellow officers stopped firing, when Brelo climbed on the hood of Russell’s car and continued to shoot. Russell and Williams, who were both black, were unarmed. Defense attorneys claimed that Brelo and the other officers believed that they were being shot at.
Brelo’s acquittal came about six months after Cleveland cop Tim Loehmann shot and killed Tamir Rice, a 12-year-old boy who was holding a BB gun, in a city park. On May 23, police arrested 71 people who gathered to protest the acquittal.
A citation issued against Mark Brelo on the night of the altercation with Michael alleges that he was drunk and knocking on the doors of Bay Village residents, “wearing only cargo shorts” and “carrying 1 shoe.”According to NBC News, it isn’t clear whether Michael Brelo had been taken into custody.