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Community activists to meet over 137 shots fatal Cleveland police shooting, community activist James Box, the Councilman TJ Dow Leadership Institute, foreclosures and violence against women at 6 pm on Tuesday, July 29 at Lil Africa in Cleveland

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Pictured are Community Activist James Box ( in Black turban) and 137 shots Cleveland police shooting victims Malissa Williams and Tim Russell


From the Metro Desk of Cleveland Urban News. Com and The Cleveland Urban News.Com Blog, Ohio's Most Read Online Black Newspaper and Newspaper Blog, Ohio's leaders in Black digital news, Email: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it and phone us at (216) 659-0473

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CLEVELAND, Ohio- Select greater Cleveland community activists leaders will meet at an open meeting at the Lil Africa/The Kitchen Restaurant and Event Center at 6816 Superior Avenue in Cleveland at 6 pm on Tuesday, July 29 to discuss community issues. The issues, say meeting organizers, include excessive force by Cleveland police and whether community activist James Box (pictured) is being railroaded relative to a pending criminal case involving two women.

Also briefly discussed will be illegal foreclosures, the epidemic of violence against women in Cuyahoga County, and whether the taking of Cleveland Ward 7 T.J. Dow's charter school and other actions around the school once dubbed the Dow Leadership Institute and now under a new name were proper and legal. (Call the Imperial Women Coalition at (216) 659-0473 for more information. Other groups represented at the meeting include Stop Targeting Ohio's Poor, the Carl Stokes Brigade and Black on Black Crime Inc,  which will be represented by its vice president, Alfred Porter Jr.)

A longtime community activist Box, 53, is facing life in prison for allegedly attempting to rape two women, though the county prosecutor's office has no DNA evidence and his lawyer, Richard Drucker, told Cleveland Urban News.Com that the case is flimsy, that Box denies the allegations, there are no witnesses or DNA, and attempted rape, though serious if it occurs,  is far different than rape.

In one case Channel 3 Investigative Reporter Tom Meyer reported that Box was allegedly invited into the alleged victim's apartment, something Box denies, and he tried to kiss her, allegedly showed her is private parts, and then left after she objected. The investigative article by Meyer, which was published before a Cuyahoga County Grand Jury issued a 10-count indictment in 2013 on a host of felony and misdemeanor charges, including alleged kidnapping and  sex crimes, goes on to say that the woman at issue might want to file charges. She did just that and so did the other woman, one of them allegedly caught on tape, Box says,  saying she was allegedly coerced into the ordeal.

Box took a plea deal last week where the prosecution dropped all sex related charges and left attempted abduction and misdemeanor assault and unlawful restraint. He faces up to 18 months in prison when he is sentenced next month before common pleas Judge John Sutula but told Cleveland Urban News.Com that he is withdrawing his plea because he was coerced into agreeing to it with a life sentence hanging over his head when he is innocent, and because prosecutors' have allegedly reneged on other parts of the plea deal.

Drucker told Cleveland Urban News.Com that his client can withdraw his plea anytime before sentencing with the court's approval.

The two separate incidents allegedly occurred in 2011.

Both women were participants in a Cleveland Municipal Court life skills program that employs football legend Jim Brown at the helm, and where Box, a community relations specialist for the city of Cleveland now on administrative leave without pay until the case is resolved, worked part time.

Box will attend the meeting at Lil Africa with his supporters and will speak briefly but not on the merits of the controversial case, which prosecutors, led by Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Tim McGinty, waited two years to prosecute.

"We want to get to the bottom of this to insure that this Black male community activist has effective assistance of counsel and a fair judge and fair trial when facing life in prison," said Kathy Wray Coleman, who leads the grassroots group Imperial Women Coalition. "Also, since a Cleveland NAACP commissioned study shows that Black men are getting harsher sentences than their White counterparts in felony cases by the majority White common pleas judges of Cuyahoga County and the Cleveland NAACP and Black leaders are remaining silent on the matter , community activists must step up more."

Last Updated on Monday, 28 July 2014 23:49

O'Jays, After 7 to perform for free in Cleveland at Luke Easter Park on Saturday, July 26, annual unity day community event is sponsored by Cleveland Councilman Zack Reed

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By Kathy Wray Coleman

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Kathy Wray Coleman is  a community activist

and 20 year investigative journalist who trained for 17 years

at the Call and Post Newspaper in Cleveland, Ohio.

CLEVELAND, Ohio- The legendary R & B singing group The O'Jays will perform for free in Cleveland at Luke Easter Park on the city's east side on Saturday, July 26, an annual unity day community event sponsored by Ward 2 Councilman Zack Reed (pictured). The group After 7 will also perform, said Reed, who added that "we want grown ups and kids to come out and have a good time."

Reed said that the event, which will be held from 1 pm to 10 pm,  is in its 11th year and that in previous years the Temptations, George Clinton and Cameo were among the performers.

A large crowd of over 25,000 people is expected, organizers said, and in the past the figure has reached nearly 20,000.

Last Updated on Monday, 28 July 2014 09:41

Former Akron police captain Douglas Prade, who was convicted of murdering ex-wife Dr. Margo Prade, is back in jail after Ohio Supreme Court refuses to hear new appeal of his convictions, a trial court judge will now decide if Prade will get a new trial

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Pictured are former Akron Police Captain Douglas Prade, his murdered ex wife Dr. Margo Prade (in red blouse with necklace), Summit County Prosecutor Sherri Bevan Walsh (in red blouse and black suit jacket), and Ohio Supreme Court Chief Justice Maureen O'Connor (in Black blouse)

By Kathy Wray Coleman, editor-in-chief, Cleveland Urban News. Com and The Cleveland Urban News.Com Blog,

Ohio's Most Read Online Black Newspaper and Newspaper Blog

Kathy Wray Coleman is  a community activist

and 20 year investigative journalist

who trained for 17 years at the

Call and Post Newspaper

in Cleveland, Ohio. ( /(

AKRON, Ohio-Former Akron police captain Douglas Prade, who was convicted of murdering ex-wife Margo Prade 15 years ago, is back behind bars following a judicial hearing Friday on his freedom and after the Ohio Supreme Court on Wednesday refused to hear an appeal, 4-3, from a Ninth District Court of Appeals decision that reversed a Summit County trial court ruling that freed him from prison in 2013.

Following the Ninth District decision, which was issued in April, a judge ordered Prade back to jail. But he stayed in jail that time for only a day, given freedom once again pursuant to a stay while the Ohio Supreme Court determined whether it would hear his appeal seeking to overturn his convictions. Now the former cop, who has two daughters with Margo Prade, both of them now grown, is back in jail again around this vacillating legal saga and celebrated tragedy.

Since the Ohio Supreme Court this week decided not to hear Prade's appeal, the second appeal behind his unsuccessful appeal of the convictions more than a decade ago, the case now heads back to the trial court that freed him in 2013, a  ruling by retired visiting Summit County Judge Judy Hunter, who also ruled that if the state's high court fails to overturn the murder conviction she would then hold a hearing on Prade's motion for a new trial. The judge alleges that DNA does not link the jealous Prade to the murder of his ex-wife, a popular Akron medical doctor.

Hunter was handpicked for the case by Republican Ohio Supreme Court Chief Justice Maureen O'Connor, a favorite of police unions that supported her bid in 2010 as the first female chief justice of the state's high court. O'Connor is accused of handpicking retired judges, paying them $500 a day, and sending some of them throughout the state to allegedly fix cases and harass her enemies, mainly Democrats, women and Black people. A few of them,  including retired Barberton Municipal Court  judge Michael Weigand and retired Cuyahoga County Court of Common Pleas Judge Ronald Suster,  are denying indigent Blacks counsel in municipal courts such as Berea and Bedford.

The infamous city of Bedford, like Berea, is a suburb of Cleveland and is where a judge there, namely Republican Harry Jacob, has been suspended from the bench after an indictment on a host of felonies and other charges, including that he ran a prostitution ring out of the court. Jacob has  pleaded not guilty to all charges and is out on bond, though the Bedford court, which serves the city of Bedford and 13 other jurisdictions of greater Cleveland, including neighboring Bedford Heights and Oakwood Village, is in disarray. Blacks, who are disproportionately prosecuted there, and women defendants brought before the court, some maliciously prosecuted and denied speedy trials like others, are even more at risk, legal experts have said, and a Cleveland Urban News.Com investigation reveals.

When indigent Blacks complain about the denial of counsel these judges, including corrupt Suster and super corrupt Weindgand, issue illegal warrants, data show, some allegedly bragging to community activists and others that they can do so with support from O'Connor and  Cleveland NAACP and its attorneys, James Hardiman and Michael Nelson Sr.

Prade, say his lawyers, will likely face the retired judge Hunter again within 30 days,on whether he will get a new trial, a denial of which sets the stage for more appeals.

Akron is a city some 30 miles south of Cleveland and the native home of NBA basketball icon LeBron James.

Summit County Prosecutor Sherri Bevan Walsh, who fought against the high court's order for a stay from prison of Prade, told Cleveland Urban News.Com that Douglas Prade is as guilty as sin.

"The information presented by the defense that supposedly proves Prade's innocence is, as stated by the Ninth District Court of Appeals judgment released last month, wholly questionable and meaningless,"  said Walsh at the time the stay was issued.

Last Updated on Sunday, 27 July 2014 21:23

Vice President Biden to speak in Ohio today, denounced voting rights discrimination against the Black community in speech at 2014 NAACP convention, Kentucky governor, U.S. Senator Rand Paul, among other speakers at Ohio forum before Urban League

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By Kathy Wray Coleman, editor-in-chief, Cleveland Urban News. Com and The Cleveland Urban News.Com Blog, Ohio's Most Read Online Black Newspaper and Newspaper Blog, Tel: (216) 659-0473

Kathy Wray Coleman is  a community activist and 20 year investigative journalist who trained for 17 years at the Call and Post Newspaper in Cleveland, Ohio. ( / (

LAS VEGAS, Nevada — Vice President Joe Biden (pictured) spoke to a crowd Wednesday at the annual NAACP convention in Las Vegas, Nevada and said that the effort by Republican-controlled state legislatures across the country in passing voter suppression laws in 29 states to restrict voting to vulnerable Americans, including Blacks and other minorities, is "pure politics, masquerading as an attempt to combat corruption when there is none."

The comments reference claims by the Republicans that voter identification restrictions and other requirements to vote that Democrats say disproportionately disenfranchise minorities, women, the elderly and the poor,  are needed to deter voter fraud, though there is no conclusive data whatsoever that such state laws combat any such minimally applicable alleged fraudulent activities.

The 31 minute speech Wednesday morning came on the last day of the five-day convention that began July 19  with speeches and forums and comes on the heels of a call by newly installed NAACP President Cornell William Brooks for a revolution of change around the issues  facing Black America and a get-out-the vote speech by Congresswoman and Congressional Black Caucus Chairperson Marcia L. Fudge of Ohio at the convention on Monday.

Last Updated on Saturday, 26 July 2014 23:29

Congresswoman Fudge gets standing ovation at 105th NAACP convention, voting rights is center stage, Vice President Joe Biden to speak, new NAACP President Cornell Brooks makes debut, JPMorgan Chase Bank, Wells Fargo among corporate sponsors

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Pictured are U.S. Rep.Marcia L. Fudge of Ohio, who also chairs the Congressional Black Caucus of Blacks in Congress, and U.S. Vice President Joe Biden


By Kathy Wray Coleman, editor-n-chief, Cleveland Urban News. Com and The Cleveland Urban News.Com Blog, Ohio's Most Read Online Black Newspaper and Newspaper Blog, Tel: (216) 659-0473

Kathy Wray Coleman is  a community activist and 20 year investigative journalist who trained for 17 years at the Call and Post Newspaper. ( / (www.kathywraycolemanonlinenewsblog.comLAS VEGAS, Nevada- U.S. Rep. Marcia L. Fudge, a Warrensville Heights, Ohio Democrat and chair of the Congressional Black Caucus of Blacks in Congress, got a standing ovation on Monday at the 105th Annual NAACP Convention in Las Vegas as voting rights was the focus of the gathering of Civil Rights advocates.

Billed under the theme 'All In For Justice and Equality,' Wednesday is the final day of the convention, and Vice president Joe Biden will speak at 11 am.  But neither President Obama nor First Lady Obama are among the attendees or speakers there, which is rare since America's first Black president took office in 2009 and won a second four-year term in 2012.

"Vote like your life depended on it, vote as if the lives of your children depended on it," said Fudge during her speech at the  Mandalay Bay Resort and Convention Center in Las Vegas, Nevada where the five-day convention that began on July 19 was held.

The congresswoman, whose district includes parts of the predominantly Black major metropolitan city of Cleveland and its eastern suburbs, gave a  get-out-the vote presentation as the November election nears with select gubernatorial and Congressional seats open for grabs across the country, including the race for governor in Ohio.

A former Warrensville Heights mayor and past national president of Delta Sigma Theta Inc, Fudge has been out front on voting rights at the federal level and at home in her majority Black 11th congressional district, one of 16 congressional districts in the battleground state of Ohio. Most of her constituents live below the poverty line and the federal lawmaker is outright unnerved with the trend by state legislatures in several states in passing voter suppression laws in rapid numbers, including in Ohio where a federal judge earlier this year struck down a state law that denied early voting three days before general elections as unconstitutional.

Many of the convention goers were attorneys, some were academicians, a few on program were judges and politicians, and others simply were longtime loyal members of the nation's oldest and most renowned Civil Rights organization. Forums ranged from health care, to education, to the mass incarceration of Black men, many of whom are denied adequate legal representation due to poverty, and racism, says the NAACP.

Other program speakers include Journalist and TV One Political Commentator Roland Martin,  U.S. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, NAACP Chairman Roslyn Brock, and U.S. Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals Judge Bernice Donald.

Among the performers were Regina Bell and Ruben Studdard.

Newly installed National NAACP President Cornell William Brooks, who succeeds Benjamin Jealous, made his debut on Saturday, the opening day of the convention,  and told a crowd of thousands that the NAACP is in the midst of a "revolution reconstruction period."

Last Updated on Friday, 25 July 2014 16:47

Russell estate Attorney Terry Gilbert thanks community activists around 137 shots deadly Cleveland police shooting settlement, gives exclusive interview to Cleveland Urban News.Com, says "the fight is really just beginning"

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Pictured are Cleveland police shooting victims Malissa Williams and Tim Russell (in sweat shirt), and Russell estate attorney Terry Gilbert ( in suit), a Cleveland area Civil Rights and constitutional lawyer widely known for settling record breaking Cleveland police excessive force cases.

By Kathy Wray Coleman, editor-n-chief, Cleveland Urban News. Com and The Cleveland Urban News.Com Blog, Ohio's Most Read Online Black Newspaper and Newspaper Blog, Tel: (216) 659-0473 Kathy Wray Coleman is  a community activist and 20 year investigative journalist who trained for 17 years at the Call and Post Newspaper. ( / (

CLEVELAND, Ohio- The city of Cleveland has reached a settlement in a notorious Civil Rights and  police excessive force case, likely the worst in city history, where unarmed Blacks Malissa Williams, 30, and Tim Russell, 43, were gunned down the night of  Nov. 29, 2012 with Cleveland police slinging 137 bullets.

Among the host of defendants named in the two lawsuits are police, all of them at issue sued in both their professional and personal capacities, and the city of Cleveland.

The fatal shooting followed a high speed car chase that began in downtown Cleveland and ended in the parking lot of Heritage Middle School in neighboring East Cleveland.

The settlement was reached on Monday in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Ohio before federal district court Judge Dan Polster, who put a gag order on the parties to the case and their attorneys, one that will not truly be settled until probate court resolves several claims to the estates of the two shooting victims, something that attorneys for the plaintiffs say could take weeks or even months.

"The next step is probate court," said Civil Rights and constitutional attorney Terry Gilbert, in an exclusive interview on Monday with Cleveland Urban News.Com, Ohio's leading digital Black newspaper.

Gilbert represents the estate of Russell's son, now 18.

David Malik and Tyrone Reed, also Cleveland area attorneys, represent the Williams family in the lawsuit.

A renowned lawyer who has settled several record breaking Cleveland police excessive force cases, Gilbert is still concerned that excessive force by Cleveland police remains a problem to the Black community and others.

"We have  a lot more work to do to reform the Cleveland police department," said Gilbert, before thanking community activists for their support in bringing awareness around the unprecedented case, which he says also contributed to a timely settlement.

"The presence of community activists on raising awareness of what happen on Nov 29, 2012 has and will be instrumental in seeking accountability by the Cleveland Police Department," he said.

Gilbert said that neither he nor the other attorneys or the parties to the case are at liberty to disclose the amount of the settlement, the judge ordered. And he said that the fight to eradicate excessive force incidents by Cleveland police against the community and for justice for Malissa and Tim and all like them is not over by a long-shot.

"The fight is just really beginning,"said Gilbert.

A Cuyahoga County Grand Jury last month handed down an indictment on two counts of voluntary manslaughter against one of 13 non- Black Cleveland police officers that gunned down Williams and Russell , a celebrated tragedy that has heighten racial unrest in the predominantly Black major metropolitan city.

Prosecutors had sought a two-count murder indictment for Patrolman Michael Brelo, among other charges, but the grand jury opted for the lesser charge of manslaughter. The case is before Cuyahoga County Court of Common Pleas Judge John O'Donnell and Brelo has pleaded not guilty.

Manslaughter is a first degree felony in Ohio that carries a possible prison sentence of three to 10 years.

Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Tim McGinty told reporters during a press conference on the grand jury indictments  that his office did not recommend any charges against the 12 officers that escaped indictments, 11 White and one Hispanic. That posture has upset community activists who have protested and are demanding that another grand jury convene independent of what they say was prejudice by McGinty and his office.They also want federal charges as well as the firing of the 13 cops that did the shooting.

Some community members and community activists called the grand jury decision and McGinty's refusal to seek charges against the 12 police officers at issue unjust, racist and outright shameful.

"The neo- Nazi's won and it is unbelievable that only one police officer faces felony charges and the other 12 got away with killing two unarmed Black people," said Community activist Pierre Nappier, who had protested over the deadly shooting with Cleveland area religious groups such as the United Pastors in Mission and the Baptist Minister Alliance and  with members of the Cleveland Chapter NAACP and  greater Cleveland grassroots groups including Black on Black Crime Inc, the Carl Stokes Brigade, the Imperial Women Coalition, Revolution Books, Peace in the Hood, Stop Targeting Ohio's Poor, and the Oppressed People's Nation.

Last Updated on Monday, 21 July 2014 15:54


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"“There is something deeply hypocritical in a society that holds an inner-city child only eight years old accountable for her performance on a high-stakes standardized exam but does not hold the high officials of our government accountable for robbing her of what they gave their own kids six or seven years before.” ―By Jonathan Kozol, author of 'Savage Inequalities'  and other books on the nation's inequitable public education system

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