Protests, arrests after acquittal of Cleveland police officer

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CLEVELAND (AP) — Police in riot gear made numerous arrests as protesters took to Cleveland’s streets after a judge found a city police officer not guilty in the deaths of two unarmed black suspects killed in a barrage of police gunfire.

Protesters gathered in downtown Cleveland and west side neighborhoods after the acquittal of 31-year-old patrolman Michael Brelo.

A judge said in his written verdict delivered to a packed courtroom Saturday that Brelo’s actions in the November 2012 shootings were justified because he believed that someone in the car containing Timothy Russell and Malissa Williams fired shots at police at the beginning, middle and end of the chase. Brelo remains on an unpaid suspension while officials consider administrative charges against him.

The city of Cleveland earlier agreed to pay the families of Russell and Williams a total of $3 million to settle a federal civil rights lawsuit.

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