CLEVELAND – Since his indictment, Cleveland Patrol Officer Michael Brelo spoke out in court saying he wants former police union attorney Pat D’Angelo to represent him.
During a hearing Friday, Brelo told Judge John O’Donnell that he understands potential conflicts D’Angelo may have since he has represented numerous police officers in the past but still wants him as his attorney.
“Yes I do understand that sir,” Brelo told Judge O’Donnell.
Cuyahoga County prosecutors have been trying hard to have D’Angelo thrown off the case.
A case that started in November 2012, with a massive police chase that ended in East Cleveland with police officers firing 137 shots, killing two suspects, Timothy Russell and Malissa Williams.
D’Angelo previously represented the entire police union and prosecutors wonder if that poses a conflict.
“The problem in this case for the court and for us, specifically appellate wise, is that Mr. D’Angelo himself has represented too many clients,” said Assistant Cuyahoga County Assistant Prosecutor Rick Bell.
Prosecutors wanted the OK from the judge to call in about 80 officers and question them. The defense objected.
The judge decided that dozens of officers don’t have to testify but he wants Brelo to return to court Monday to answer additional questions.
Brelo faces two counts of manslaughter and his trial is set for April.
Meanwhile, the Fox 8 I-team obtained a memo put out to officers from a commander, warning them they could face internal discipline if they go to Brelo’s court hearings, unless they’ve been subpoenaed to take part.
Police Union President Steve Loomis strongly disagrees with this and says he believes officers who are off duty should be allowed to attend a public court hearing if they choose.
Read more about the deadly police chase here.