Cavaliers fans come downtown despite protests in wake of Brelo verdict

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CLEVELAND—It was a big night in downtown Cleveland, Sunday night, with all eyes on the city as the Cleveland Cavaliers brought home another victory against the Atlanta Hawks. The Cavs won in OT, 114-111.

The city is in the spotlight after Cleveland police officer Michael Brelo was found not guilty for his role in a controversial police chase and shooting that ended with two people dead.

Dozens of Cleveland police officers and Ohio State Highway Patrolmen surrounded the area near Quicken Loans Arena and Fan Fest.  Police were prepared for any protests that may happen.

Despite the day of protests on Saturday, focus mainly stayed on the big game on Sunday night.

"No chaos, no violence, just hopefully the Cavs can bring positive energy,” said P.J. Wimberly, a Cavs fan.

"Right now just the energy the party down here you can hear the music, there is so many people down here, it's just the excitement is unreal after the two wins,” said fan, Thomas Khristenko.

Officer Michael Brelo had been charged with two counts of voluntary manslaughter for his actions in the November 29, 2012 chase and deadly shooting. Two suspects, Timothy Russell and Malissa Williams were killed after 13 officers fired 137 shots.  Police had thought the suspects were shooting at them.  No gun was found on the suspects.

Many at Sunday’s Cavs event tell Fox 8 the protests should be recognized and respected.

"I just hope at some point justice is served not just here in Cleveland but in all of the other cities where the atrocities have happened,” said Barbara Smith-Allen, who traveled from Columbus to Cleveland Sunday.

Other fans agree, but are happy they have been peaceful demonstrations for the most part.

“I feel safe,” said Anthony Delzoppo.

"After hearing Mayor Jackson, just come out and say don't worry, go downtown, protesters are allowed to protest, we're not going to let them get out of hand,” he added.


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