Mayor Frank Jackson: Cleveland prepared for reaction to Brelo verdict

Mayor Frank Jackson: Cleveland prepared for reaction to Brelo verdict

In a letter posted on the city of

Wednesday, Mayor Frank Jackson says the city has planned and is prepared for any reactions to the verdict of Cleveland Police Officer Michael Brelo.

Brelo is charged with voluntary manslaughter in the deaths of Timothy Russell and Malissa Williams after the deadly police chase and shooting on Nov. 29, 2012. Both were unarmed when they were killed. Brelo's trial is expected to wrap up by the end of next week.

Cleveland has seen protests in recent months. For example, when

and blocked traffic on the Shoreway in the wake of the


In recent days, local ministers have called for peace, asking residents to control their emotions in advance. 

With the Brelo trial coming to a close, Mayor Frank Jackson issued a statement:

In the wake of the tragic events that unfolded in Baltimore, and bearing in mind the series of police-related matters and legal proceedings currently in process here in Cleveland, I am writing to let you know that the City of Cleveland has been planning and is prepared to address upcoming developments.

As I am sure you are aware, it is likely that the trial of Officer Michael Brelo will conclude within the next few days. Other high-profile cases are still pending, as well as continued negotiations with the Department of Justice.

Clearly, these are very complex situations that affect people at every level in our community. We are focused on how best to create a sense of safety, trust and confidence in our community, while empowering our police to enforce the law and maintain order.

We are planning for a variety of contingencies and are being very proactive in both communication and outreach. We are partnering with community and faith-based leaders, corporate entities and individuals to foster an environment that informs audiences about the changes taking place, while recognizing the importance of listening and engaging with all parties involved. We all have a shared responsibility for maintaining peace and order moving forward.

More than ever, let us work together to ensure that Cleveland is a community where all citizens receive the respect they expect and deserve.

Frank G. Jackson

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