Cleveland protests turn peaceful after Brelo verdict
CLEVELAND — Ohio Gov. John Kasich has praised the mostly peaceful protests following the acquittal of a white patrolman charged in the deaths of two unarmed black motorists in a barrage of police gunfire.
Kasich said Sunday on ABC’s “This Week” that people in Cleveland should be proud and that their response should serve as a model for the nation.
Kasich said “the verdict is the verdict” when asked whether patrolman Michael Brelo’sacquittal on voluntary manslaughter charges was just.
Kasich says people dispirited by Saturday’s decision have a right to protest, but also said “God bless the people” for keeping their protests peaceful.
Police say 71 people were arrested Saturday night after a day of mostly peaceful protests turned more aggressive.
Officials say some protesters angry over the acquittal of a police officer charged in the deaths of two unarmed suspects became violent and turned on bystanders, including some who pepper-sprayed patrons sitting at outdoor cafes downtown.
Cleveland Police Chief Calvin Williams says 71 people were arrested Saturday night after a day of mostly peaceful protests turned more aggressive.
Williams said Sunday at a news conference with Mayor Frank Jackson that another protester threw a restaurant sign at a patron, striking him in the head. He says bystanders were also accosted in at least one other instance.
Jackson thanked the majority of protesters who remained respectful. He says the police will continue to help demonstrators exercise their First Amendment rights but warned the city will not tolerate any protesters who cross the line into violence.
Angry but mostly orderly protests followed Saturday’s verdict in the case of patrolman Michael Brelo. Police say some demonstrators became unruly and refused to disperse after night fell, but the protests avoided to kind of violence seen after police killings in Baltimore, New York City and Ferguson, Missouri.
Brelo now faces administrative charges while remaining suspended without pay, but he no longer faces the prospect of prison.
The anxious city now awaits a decision on criminal charges against a white officer in the fatal shooting of a black 12-year-old boy with a pellet gun.