Watch Corrupt Cleveland Police Obstruct Justice During Killer Cop’s Manslaughter Trial (VIDEO)

A group of Cleveland cops is working hard to undermine the justice system, in a relatively unheard of manslaughter case.

Former Cleveland police officer Michael Brelo is currently on trial for manslaughter, after gunning down two unarmed people on November 29, 2012. Police pumped nearly 140 bullets into a vehicle occupied by Timothy Russell and Malissa Williams. While at least 13 officers are known to have fired weapons at the vehicle, Brelo faces manslaughter charges after he jumped on the hood of the car and sprayed the two victims with 49 bullets through the windshield of the 1979 Chevy Malibu they occupied.

As the trial entered its third day, prosecutors expressed frustration with Brelo’s fellow officers, who have refused to provide witness testimony in the case.

Shortly after officer Michael Demchek was called to the stand, he announced that he would be pleading his fifth amendment right not to incriminate himself. Prosecutors disputed Demchek’s right to take the fifth, saying that there is nothing in his testimony that would be used to incriminate himself.

Prosecutors responded to Demchek’s assertion of his fifth amendment right, by saying:

“This is what the state has been talking about – the blue wall – this individual would not come testify. He’s a police officer. His loyalty should be to the citizens…”

Amazingly, as lawyers for Demchek and Brelo sat quietly by, Judge John P. O’Donnell argued with prosecutors on Demchek’s behalf.

Demchek is one of a group of officers who has refused to testify as to what they saw the night that Russell and Williams were killed. Two other officers were granted immunity in exchange for their testimony. An additional two officers are demanding immunity, in exchange for witness testimony.

On March 31, prosecutors filed a formal brief with the court, in which they stated that the cops have refused to cooperate with the state, and asked that they be treated as hostile witnesses. WEWS in Cleveland reports that at least 16 officers with vital information on the case have refused to cooperate with prosecutors. Police union representatives are openly discouraging cops from talking to prosecutors or providing witness testimony.

As prosecutors pointed out during their arguments, the judge’s decisions in this case are setting a dangerous precedent, one that allows witnesses to plead the fifth, although they’re not charged with or suspected of any crime. In the case of Demcheck, the prosecutor’s office has already determined that he acted appropriately on the night in question.

Under the constitution, the fifth amendment is meant to protect an individual from being compelled to testify against him or herself in a criminal case, and protects a person from being compelled to testify at their own trial. Additionally, in order to plead the fifth, a person must have “reasonable cause to apprehend danger from a direct answer,” believing that “a responsive answer to the question or an explanation of why it cannot be answered might be dangerous because injurious disclosure could result.”

As prosecutors point out repeatedly, Demchek and other police who witnessed the shooting do not have ‘any real or appreciable danger’ which would allow them to refuse to answer the prosecution’s questions regarding the actions of Brelo.

Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Timothy J. McGinty stated that the judge’s ruling would result in all police officers and all witnesses demanding immunity before they will testify in court. “It won’t end here,” McGinty warned. “It will end with every police officer and every witness,” he said. “If police officers demand immunity, why not everyone else before they testify?”

McGinty went out to say:

“The need for immunity should be rarely used, and there’s great writings on it. No court in America has ruled that all witnesses should be given immunity in order to testify,” or “that the fifth amendment grants that privilege and spreads it out. Immunity should be used in the most rare of circumstances. I am reluctant to start doing it here and now, for fear of the future results.”

In response to a question from Judge O’Donnell about how his decision would lead to every witness and every police officer demanding immunity, McGinty shot back:

“You watch, every single police officer from this point is gonna want the fifth. We’ve already had two others who’ve asserted the fifth and filed motions to that. There has been… I’ve never seen this in forty years around here, the police have come and taken the fifth at the Grand Jury on a investigation of a fellow police officer, who jumped up on the hood, and everyone of them knows it’s wrong, he jumped on the hood and clipped two people in a car, unarmed. They knew from that moment it happened that they were in trouble, that that man was in trouble.”

He said that the officers in question didn’t tell anyone what they had witnessed. “They didn’t tell the detectives,” he said, and “they didn’t tell the investigators until it was forced on them.”

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*Featured image credit: video screen captures, WEWS Cleveland