Cleveland – As a judge moves toward a verdict in the Michael Brelo trial, a group supporting police held a prayer vigil Friday evening. Members of an organization called Sea of Blue said they have noticed a heightening of tensions in the community and they wanted to do something that would encourage calm.
Brelo is a Cleveland police officer who faces voluntary manslaughter charges in the shooting deaths of two people after a high speed chase in November 2012. The trial is over and the community is awaiting the judge’s verdict, which could come at any time.
Sea of Blue leaders say, no matter what the verdict, violence must be avoided.
“It’s time for some peace in our community,” said Sea of Blue President Mary Jo Graves. “We just wanted to get people together and pray for our city, pray for our neighborhoods and pray for our officers. I understand people feel there are injustices done. But it is going to take peace in our hearts and other people’s hearts to make things better.”
A rally criticizing the investigation into the police shooting death of 12-year old Tamir Rice, who was shot after police though his airsoft gun was real, will take place in the same park on Saturday morning. Organizers say the investigation is not moving quickly enough. The investigation has been in the hands of the Cuyahoga County Sheriff since January.