Michael Brelo trial nearing verdict; Akron faces two different sexual assault cases; Hawken car crash kills two, injures two

We boil down what happened this week in Cleveland.

Michael Brelo trial nearing verdict; some officers file reverse racism lawsuit 

Nine of the 13 officers involved in the murders of Timothy Russell and Malissa Williams are filing a lawsuit against police department leaders for giving them harsher sentences based on their ethnicity and the ethnicity of their victims. Russell and Williams, both African American, were killed after a car chase in November of 2012, when officers fired 137 shots at Russell’s car. The lawsuit has resulted in the unveiling of five years of police records (between 2007 and 2012), including the race of the officers.

This lawsuit is a side case to the Michael Brelo trial. Brelo, one of the 13 police officers, was accused of manslaughter. He has been said to have jumped on the windshield of Russell’s car and shot at the two passengers 15 times. The verdict on his case will be given Monday. It has been more than two years since the deaths of Russell and Williams.

Akron faces two different sexual assault cases

Two different sexual assault cases played out last Tuesday, both in Akron.

The first case was of James Pistawka, a 37-year-old man, who was sentenced to 15 years in prison for sexually assaulting three girls between 2001 and 2013. The victims, families and their prosecutors were surprised and angry that he only got 15 years. For the 13 years he was sexually abusive on three different accounts, he was also free.

One of the victims, Chyna Glidden, gave reporters permission to use her name, openly expressing her opinions on the case on television.

The second sexual assault case was of Michael Thompson, a 30-year-old volleyball coach of a girls’ team based in Twinsburg. In addition to sending naked pictures of himself to several girls on the team, ages 15 to 18, he also attacked one 16-year-old girl three times. After being silent about Thompson’s advances and attacks, the girl finally told a teacher after he began following her to school.

Thompson pleaded guilty last Tuesday and will be sentenced on June 23rd.

Hawken car crash kills two, injures two

Last Thursday, four Hawken School students were involved in a car crash that killed two and left two injured. The crash happened around 1:30 p.m. The police suggest that the car’s speed was a factor in why the crash happened. The identities of the two students who lost their lives in the crash have been revealed to the public: Alexander Doody and Joshua Weil. They were both seniors.