Six Baltimore police officers have been charged in the death of 25-year-old Freddie Grey, but—as a verdict coming out of Cleveland demonstrated today—charges don't always lead to a conviction.
An Ohio judge acquitted Cleveland police officer Michael Brelo on Saturday of the manslaughters of Timothy Russell and Malissa Williams.
Russell and Williams were unarmed when they died on Nov. 29, 2012, following a car chase involving more than 100 officers. The pursuit ended with Brelo standing on the hood of Russell's vehicle, firing at its two unarmed occupants. Brelo is white, and Russell and Williams were black.
"When you look into the facts of this case and read all of the information, you can't come up with the conclusion that those officers were right that night," Russell's sister, Michelle, told Cleveland's Fox 8 at a press conference after the trial. She conceded that she's "not surprised" by the outcome.
A guilty verdict would have been surprising—only a third of accused police officers get convicted, per The Washington Post. The fact that Officer Brelo got charged with anything at all is also somewhat surprising, at least when you consider the ways in which recent high-profile cases involving police officers killing unarmed black people have played out.
In Nov. 2014, a grand jury decided not to indict Officer Darren Wilson in the shooting death of Ferguson resident Michael Brown. The next month, a grand jury opted not to indict NYPD Officer Daniel Pantaleo in the death of Eric Garner.
While the officers who killed Eric Harris, Walter Scott, and Akai Gurley have all received criminal charges, the officers involved in the deaths of Mya Hall, Tamir Rice, Tanisha Anderson, Ezell Ford, and Tony Robinson have not.
The six members of the Baltimore Police Department charged in connection with the death of Freddie Gray are scheduled to appear in court on July 2.
Bad at filling out bios seeks same.