Rep. Marcia Fudge on Brelo Verdict: “Our Lives Have No Value” “Miscarriage...

Rep. Marcia Fudge on Brelo Verdict: “Our Lives Have No Value” “Miscarriage of justice”


“Today we have been told – yet again – our lives have no value.”  In 2012, Timothy Russell and Malissa Williams, who were unarmed, were shot to death during and after a car chase in a 137-round hail of bullets discharged by Cleveland Police Officers.  

Michael Brelo, 31, was one of 13 Cleveland cops involved in the 137 shot melee.  Prosecutors alleged that Officer Brelo reloaded his gun and shot Russell and Williams after they were no longer a threat. Prosecutors said Brelo stood on the hood of his police car and shot 15 rounds at Russell and Williams through the windshield.

Even with all that, Brelo will walk without penalty.  

“The verdict is another chilling reminder of a broken relationship between the Cleveland Police Department and the community it serves.  Today we have been told – yet again – our lives have no value,” wrote Cleveland Congresswoman Marcia Fudge (D-OH) in a hotly worded statement. 

The Department of Justice kicked the ass of the Cleveland Police Department in a stunning report outlining their well documented misconduct and overuse of excessive deadly force on citizens in December 2014.  Quite obviously nothing has substantially changed.  And Cleveland Mayor Frank Johnson and useless chief of police appear to have no answers.

Rep. Fudge’s full statement s below.

Congresswoman Marcia L. Fudge Statement on the Michael Brelo verdict. Congresswoman Fudge calls verdict a miscarriage of justice and a chilling reminder of a broken relationship between the judicial system and those it serves

(WASHINGTON, D.C.)  – Today, Congresswoman Marcia L. Fudge (OH-11) released the following statement after Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Court Judge, John P. O’Donnell announced a final verdict in the case against Cleveland police officer, Michael Brelo:

“The decision of Judge John P. O’Donnell to acquit Officer Michael Brelo is a stunning setback on the road to justice for Timothy Russell, Malissa Williams and the people of Cleveland. The verdict is another chilling reminder of a broken relationship between the Cleveland Police Department and the community it serves.  Today we have been told – yet again – our lives have no value.”

“By any measure, the firing of more than a hundred rounds of ammunition by the Cleveland Police Department toward two unarmed citizens was extreme, excessive, and unnecessary. The same can be said about Officer Brelo’s individual actions.  My heart goes out to the families of Timothy Russell and Malissa Williams, and to the entire city of Cleveland.”

“The December 2014 U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) review of the Cleveland Police Department showed that we need sweeping, systemic changes in how our law enforcement works and interacts with the community. I pledge to continue to work with city officials to help implement these changes.”

“The decision may not be what we want but our march for justice continues. We still have a long way to go toward racial equality and justice in Ohio, and in the entire United States of America.”

Click here to see a copy of the DOJ response to Rep. Fudge
Click here to see Rep. Fudge’s statement on the DOJ Investigation of the Cleveland Police Department

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Lauren Victoria Burke
Twitter: @LVBurke / Lauren Victoria Burke is an independent journalist who analyses politics and justice reform. She created, a blog that covers the work of African American members of Congress, in 2009. Ms. Burke has also been a staffer for the Senate Democratic Policy Committee and Director of Communications for Rep. Andre Carson (D-IN). She has had a very diverse career in politics and media and appears weekly on NewsOneNow with Roland Martin. She has also appeared on Hardball with Chris Matthews, Politics Nation with Al Sharpton and Up with Steve Kornacki on MSNBC. She is also a contributing writer for and Ms. Burke was born in the Bronx, New York and grew up on Long Island. She holds a B.A. in History from The American University. E-mail: Instagram: LVB325.


  1. Looks like the score is Police 10, Thugs 0 in these shootings. Or the score could be White Police 10 , Black thugs 0. I’m ashamed this Fudge woman is allowed in congress with her record of non support of white policemen.

  2. ”U.S. slammned on racism, police brutality and human rights violations. Police killings and abuses, discrimination and racism highlighted during United Nations Sessions. Nations condemn’ Worlds Greatest Democracy for its Assaults on Black People and Racial Injustices. Activists, however, aren’t holding there breath waiting for The World’s Superpower to correct her wrong….More than 100 International Leaders raised concerns about U.S. Human Rights Violations tied to Police Brutality,The Death Penalty, and The Torture of Guantanamo Bay Prisoners. People holding signs in New York”saying a System Cannot Fail Those it Was Never Designed to Protect.” More signs saying”More People Have Died by Police on Black Violence Than Those in 9/11….”Tell Me Who’s The New Criminals and Terrorists?”