Cleveland unrest appears to be calm– for now

Cleveland shooting potest

CLEVELAND, Ohio (WYTV) — Less than 100 miles away, protests and chaos took place in downtown Cleveland.

Cleveland police say 71 people were arrested after their protesting became violent.

The streets of Cleveland are calm Sunday evening after several arrests overnight.

Demonstrators were arrested while protesting a police officer’s not guilty verdict in the deaths of two unarmed black suspects.

During the arrests, protestors were loaded onto buses in handcuffs.

There was a heavy police presence in the streets.

Mayor Frank Jackson thanked the protesters who remained peaceful and respectful as they expressed their frustration with Saturday’s verdict.

Officer Michael Brelo and 12 other officers fired 137 shots at a car in November of 2012.

Both Timothy Russell and Malissa Williams who were inside the car died from the gunshots after a 22 mile car chase.

Brelo is suspended without pay after he was found not guilty on two counts of voluntary manslaughter.

He faced up to 22 years in prison if convicted on both of those counts.

“I think it sends a statement that they’re not serious about change. They’re not taking the lives that we’re losing in the African-American community, seriously,” said Jackie Russell, of Cleveland.

“We made sure we allowed people to express their first amendment rights, to express sometimes their anger and frustration about the events that’ve unfolded here in this city and across the country,” said Cleveland Police Chief Calvin Williams.

All of this is happening as the city waits for a decision on criminal charges against another fatal shooting, when a white officer killed a black 12-year-old boy with a pellet gun.

The findings from Tamir Rice’s death investigation will be given to the prosecutor’s office to decide whether to pursue criminal charges.

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