UPDATE: YWCA Greater Cleveland Statement Regarding Verdict in Police Officer Michael Brelo Trial

police lights2On the morning of May 23, 2015, the verdict was announced in the trial of Cleveland Police Officer Michael Brelo, charged in connection with the November 29, 2012 police chase and shooting that ended the lives of Timothy Russell and Malissa Williams.

The verdict: Not guilty on all charges.

As we stated several days ago, our plan remains to follow the YWCA mission: “At this particular time, in the city we call home, eliminating racism and promoting peace is most evident and fully required. Faith-based, community and organizational leaders have joined together to address the safety and well-being of all our citizens during this time. We join them in this goal.” Safety is a top priority. Now that the verdict has been announced, we want to share the following:


  • YWCA Greater Cleveland will provide via our website, blog or social media, updates or other information related to this or other upcoming cases involving racial justice, equity or equality.
  • As part of our ongoing commitment to cultural competency, we will make our site available for “circle conversations.” These are conversations where we discuss unconscious bias and needed behavior and communication changes to be more accepting of those who are from different cultures or whose skin color is not the same as our own. These will be offered during the months of June and July (30 participant capacity per month). Dates to be determined by demand and will be open to YWCA staff, board, advisory council, partners, parents, teen and youth groups and tenants.

 Self- Care

  • Because of our experience with the personal impact of trauma one might experience from an event/environment of this nature, we recommend you seek out, in advance, the support of a counselor, pastor or any other trained professional for emotional and mental coping.


  • Know that people have a right to protest peacefully.
  • Understand that developments are fluid and situations may change quickly.
  • Be cautious and alert, but don’t be paralyzed by fear.
  • Avoid situations or areas where you may be concerned about your safety or the safety of your loved ones.
  • Use common sense, show respect and remain patient.

We appreciate your support and hope you consider us part of a family of communities working together to empower and advocate through peace and equity. If you have any questions, please contact YWCA agency leadership at 216.881.6878.

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