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Greater Cleveland community activists to picket Cleveland News Channel 5 for harassment and defamation against Blacks and activists, harassment of the community allegedly led by News Director Jeff Harris (pictured below), who joined the local television station in 2014. Please call (216) 659-0473 if Harris, who is White , or anybody else at Cleveland News Net 5 has harassed you or defamed you, or email us at editor@cleveland urbannews.com. Harris is reportedly being enlisted by police, officials from the cities of Cleveland, University Heights, and Shaker Heights, and elsewhere, and Cuyahoga County officials, including County Prosecutor Tim McGinty,  to harass outspoken greater Cleveland Black activists, and according to Reporter John Kosich, has agreed to slant stories against the Black community and community activists. Harris is also accused of taking kickbacks in money to do malicious and false stories against greater Cleveland Blacks and others for corrupt judges, politicians, and others.  (Editor's note: Among those harassed is Cleveland Urban News.Com Editor-in-Chief Kathy Wray Coleman, who is Black and a longtime community activist who leads the Imperial Women Coalition).


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Former Ohio Congressman Louis Stokes is laid to rest, Vice President Joe Biden and Congresspersons Maxine Waters and Charles Rangel attend, Rev Moss delivers the eulogy and Congresswoman Fudge gets a standing ovation as the keynote speaker

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By Cleveland Urban News. Com Field Reporter Johnette Jernigan and Editor-in-Chief Kathy Wray Coleman. Cleveland Urban News.Com and its affiliated blog, the Kathy Wray Coleman Online News Blog.Com, are Ohio's most read Black newspaper and Black newspaper blog Blog. Coleman is a 22-year journalist who trained for 17 years at the Call and Post Newspaper in Cleveland, Ohio covering various topics, including racial discrimination in housing, education, and politics. She also covered Stokes as a congressman and greater Cleveland's most esteemed politician. Tel: 216-659 0473. Email:  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .




 

CLEVELAND, Ohio-Funeral services were held Tuesday morning, August 25, for former longtime congressman Louis Stokes (pictured), Ohio's first Black congressman who died on August 18 at his home in Shaker Heights after a brave battle with lung and brain cancer.


He was 90-years-old, and his death comes as the 2016 presidential election nears.


And all eyes are on Cleveland, and the pivotal state of Ohio, as city officials prepare to  host the 2016 Republican National Convention next year.


Hundreds of people packed Olivet Institutional Baptist Church on Cleveland's majority Black east side to say farewell to the longtime federal lawmaker who represented Cleveland and several of its eastern suburbs of Cuyahoga County in Washington, serving 15 terms in the U.S. House of Representatives until retiring in 1998. Thereafter, he worked as an executive attorney at the Washington D.C. office of the prominent law firm of Squires, Sanders and Dempsey.


It was the political who's who of Ohio, mainly Democrats like Stokes himself, though prominent elected officials that are Republican were also there.


"The congressman's reach went beyond the Democratic Party," said Lillian Sharpley, the deputy executive director of the Cuyahoga County Democratic Party. "He was an asset in so may ways."


Vice President Joe Biden, a former U.S. senator and a potential contender for the Democratic nomination for president in spite of Hillary Clinton's front-runner status, was the most prominent dignitary there. He paused to view Stokes' body, and then offered condolences to the family, including Stokes' wife of 55 years, Jay Stokes, and Cleveland Municipal Court Judge Angela Stokes, one of the congressman's four
grown children.


Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson, and  councilpersons Mamie Mitchell, T.J. Dow, Phyllis Cleveland, Zack Reed and Jeff Johnson, were there too, as were  Cuyahoga County Councilwoman Yvonne Conwell, and state Reps. John Barnes Jr., Stephanie Howse and Nickie Antonio.


Other elected officials that paid their respects include Republican Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine, Toledo Mayor Paula Hicks-Hudson, and Akron City Council President Mike Williams, also a candidate for Akron mayor.


A population-based redistricting map drawn by the state legislature in 2011 reduced the state's congressional seats from 18 to 16 and also drew in staggering suburbs of Summit County to the 11th congressional district, as well as a majority Black pocket of Akron, a majority White city of some 200,000 people that is situated some 35 miles south of Cleveland.


Congresswoman Marcia L. Fudge, a Warrensville Heights Democrat and Clinton endorser who now leads the 11th congressional district that Stokes once led, was the keynote speaker, and represented a delegation from Washington, D.C., among them U.S. Sens. Sherrod Brown and Republican Rob Portman of Ohio, and longtime Black U.S. Reps Maxine Waters of California and Charles Rangle of New York.


One of two Black in Congress from Ohio, Fudge said during her speech, which drew a standing ovation, that she was blessed to have first a mentor/mentee relationship with Stokes and that their "friendship continued without interruption until the day of his death."


The congresswoman said that Stokes was a role model supreme and that "if Lou Stokes is not in heaven, most of us can forget about it."


A Cleveland Democrat who attended the funeral with his father, John Barnes Sr., a former Cleveland Ward 1 councilman, state Rep. Barnes Jr. told Cleveland Urban News.Com, Ohio's most read digital Black newspaper, that the large turn out was representative of the congressman's undying service to the American people in general, and the greater Cleveland community in particular.


"People came out to pay their respects to Congressman Stokes," said Barnes Jr.. "It was a wonderful service."


Former Cleveland mayors Dennis Kucinich, Michael R. White and Jane Campbell were there, as was Blaine Griffin, the director of the community relations board for the city of Cleveland,
and  vice chair of the Cuyahoga County Democratic Party.


Kucinich is also a former congressman, and Campbell, the city's first and only female mayor, succeeded White, a former state senator and a three-term Black mayor like current mayor Frank Jackson, a former city council president who succeeded Campbell.


"Today we say good-bye to a friend and a giant in the community," White told Cleveland Urban News.Com, Ohio's most read digital Black newspaper.


Olivet senior pastor the Rev Dr. Jawanza Colvin gave remarks, among others, and the articulate Rev Dr Otis Moss Jr., a Civil Rights icon who marched with the Rev Dr. Martin Luther King Jr, and pastor-emeritus at Olivet, delivered the eulogy.


A prestigious Morehouse College graduate who tapped Colvin, also a brilliant orator, to succeed him as pastor, Moss preached that Stokes achieved greatness during a turbulent period of national unrest that was accompanied by "racial inequality, segregation and injustice."


Dr. Delos "Toby Cosgrove," president and CE0 of Cleveland Clinic hospitals, who also attended the services, also spoke to Cleveland Urban News.Com, and said that Stokes was "a great man and a good friend."


That sentiment was echoed by Marsha Mockeebee, president and CEO of the Urban League of Greater Cleveland, who lauded Stokes as "a momentous leader in the community."


Cleveland Wards 5 resident Juanita Hewlett,66, said that Stokes believed in higher education, and helped poor Black people and others in his congressional district earn scholarships for college, and to study abroad.


Stokes was a World War 11 veteran and decided to run for Congress in 1968 at the urging of his younger brother Carl, then the mayor of Cleveland, and the first Black mayor of a major American city.


During his eulogy Moss also recounted the rise of the Stokes brothers from children growing up in the Outwaite Homes, the Cleveland's first federally-funded housing projects, to  political power-brokers and unselfish community servants with local, statewide and national and international influence.


Local Black community activists, led by longtime activist Art McKoy,

stood ground in the hallway of the church during the service with flags colored red, black and green to salute Stokes.


Burial services were private.

Last Updated on Saturday, 29 August 2015 08:16

Hillary Clinton to speak at public voting rally in Cleveland, Ohio at CWRU on Thursday, August 27, 2015, a day after the 95th anniversary of the ratification of the 19th amendment that gives women the right to vote, President Obama comments

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Pictured are Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton and President Barack Obama

 

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. Email:  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it . Coleman is a 22-year political, legal and investigative journalist who trained for 17 years, and under six different editors, at the Call and Post Newspaper in Cleveland, Ohio. (www.clevelandurbannews.com) / (www.kathywraycolemanonlinenewsblog.com).

 

CLEVELAND, Ohio- Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton will speak in Cleveland, Ohio at 10 am on Thursday, August 27 at the Tinkham Veale University Center on the campus of Case Western Reserve University, an event that comes a day after the celebration of Women's Equality Day, which this year marks the 95th Anniversary of the day in 1920 that women across America won the right to vote. (Editor's note: People interested in attending the open-to-the-public voter registration rally should RSVP here. Doors open 9 a.m ).

 

The visit marks Clinton's first to Ohio since she announced her candidacy for president in April.


The former first lady and prior secretary of state under the Obama administration
will also attend a private, $2,700-a-person fundraiser Thursday afternoon at the Cleveland home of Judy Embrescia.


The 19th amendment granted women the right to vote, a right known as women suffrage, and was passed by a divided Congress in 1919. It was  ratified by the states on Aug. 26, 1920.


The ratification of the constitutional right of women to vote came 45 years before the Voting Rights Act of 1965, which was aimed to overcome legal barriers at the state and local levels that prevented Blacks from exercising their right to vote under the 15th Amendment.


A major American city, Cleveland is 60 percent Black, has a population of some 375,000 people, and is a Democratic stronghold.


Three-term Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson, who is Black, and all but one member of the 17-member Cleveland City Council are Democrats.


President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama celebrated the 95th anniversary of the right to vote of women amid much ado today at the White House.


"On August 26, 1920, after years of agitating to break down the barriers that stood between them and the ballot box, American women won the right to vote," said Obama in an official proclamation that he read at today's press conference. "On the front lines of pickets and protests, champions from every corner of our country banded together to expand this fundamental freedom to women and forge a path toward fairer representation and greater opportunity. "


The president said that  as "we celebrate 95 years since the certification of the 19th Amendment, let us demonstrate our commitment to the belief that we are all entitled to equal treatment by supporting policies that help women succeed and thrive."


And while the women's rights movement has proved to be effective by many accounts, more needs to be done to get women on par with men nationwide, data show, Black women included.


Only 104 out of 35 people in Congress are women.


Eighty-four of 435 representatives in the U.S. House of Representatives (or 18 percent) are women, and 20 out of 100 (or 20 percent) currently serve in  the U.S. Senate.


Some 12 percent of governors, 18 percent of mayors, and 24 percent of state legislators throughout the country are women.

 

Women, still today, traditionally make 78 cents on the dollar in comparison to their male counterparts.


Black women as a whole, however,  lag behind White women in practically every arena, research shows,  with the exception of voting trends, and a few other initiatives.


Black women remain woefully underrepresented in elected office and hold only three percent of state legislative seats, and less than one percent
of seats in Congress, according to a 2014 report by the Black Women’s Roundtable Public Policy Network (BWR).  And 2015 makes the 16th consecutive year that no Black woman has held a seat in the United States Senate, Carol Mosley Braun being the first and only Black women elected to the U.S. Senate, who served from 1999 to 2001.


Also,  the BWR report says that the maternal mortality rate for Black women is fully three times that of White women.


Black girls experience an out-of school suspension rate six times that of white girls, and Black women over 65 have the lowest household income of any demographic group in America, the report says.


Black women are also more likely to be violently murdered than any other ethic group, and at a rate that is nearly three times the murder rate of White women killed by men, according to a recent report by the Violence Policy Center.


Moreover, they only make up roughly two percent of practicing scientists and engineers in the workforce.


Despite their relatively strong work ethic, says the report, Black women remain behind economically.


While they are few and far between as CEO's in corporate board rooms, at fortune 500 companies and on Wall street, Black women are over-represented in low-wage fields. This, data show, is though they are often better educated and more skilled than a large percentage of the White men and women that subordinate them in various capacities, including in corporate America,  politics, corrections and law enforcement, and administrative employment in secondary and higher education.


But the data also show that Black women are the fastest growing voting force of the American electorate, something both Democrats and Republicans are coming more and more to realize as the 2016 presidential election nears with a crowded field of GOP presidential candidates, and Clinton the front-runner for the Democratic nomination.


Women of color turned out in historically high numbers and overwhelmingly voted Democratic in 2008, the year the Democrats won both the White House and Congress, and also played a key role in the re-election in 2012 of Obama, America's first Black president. (www.clevelandurbannews.com) / (www.kathywraycolemanonlinenewsblog.com).


Last Updated on Thursday, 27 August 2015 20:07

Congressman Stokes honored yesterday at Cleveland City Hall as he lies in state, funeral services are today, August 25, at 11 am at Olivet Institutional Baptist Church in Cleveland, Vice President Joe Biden will attend funeral

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Pictured are the late Congressman Louis Stokes (wearing maroon tie) and Vice President Joe Biden, who will attend funeral services for Stokes, who died August 18, at Olivet Institutional Baptist Church in Cleveland on Tuesday, August 25 at 11 am.

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. Email: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it . Coleman is a 22-year political, legal and investigative journalist who trained for 17 years, and under six different editors, at the Call and Post Newspaper in Cleveland, Ohio. (www.clevelandurbannews.com) / (www.kathywraycolemanonlinenewsblog.com).

CLEVELAND, Ohio-Led by Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson, and family members, with dignitaries such as former U.S representatives Mary Rose Oakar and Lacy "Bill" Clay Sr., on program, and Sam Miller of Forrest City Enterprises and Attorney Fred Nance of the prominent law firm of Squires, Sanders and Dempsey, also at the helm, former longtime Congressman Louis Stokes was honored in Cleveland, Ohio yesterday as he lied in state at the rotunda at City Hall.


The program, where all of the aforementioned spoke, Oakar and Clay, who both served with Stokes in Congress, and Nance, the managing partner of the law firm where Stokes was an executive attorney after his retirement from Congress, began at 5: 45 pm. It was a prelude to funeral services set for today, Tuesday, August 25, beginning at 11:00 am at Olivet Institutional Baptist Church on the city's majority Black east side.


Vice President Joe Biden will attend the funeral, White House officials said in a press release.


Ohio's first Black congressman, Stokes, 90, represented Cleveland and several of its eastern suburbs in Washington and served 15 terms in the U.S. House of Representatives, from 1998 until his retirement in 1968. He died on August 18 at his home in Shaker Heights, a Cleveland suburb, with his wife Jay by his bedside, and after a brave battle with lung and brain cancer.


Among others at the public viewing earlier in the day were Congresswoman Marcy Kaptur, Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Tim McGinty and Civil Rights icon the Rev Jesse Jackson Sr, who was also in attendance at the City Hall ceremony.


Eleanor Hayes, a former Cleveland Fox8 News anchorwoman and currently the director of communications for the human resources division for Cleveland Clinic hospitals, was the mistress of ceremonies at the City Hall event.


The Rev. Dr. E. Theophilus Caviness, senior pastor at the Greater Abyssinia Baptist Church in Cleveland and first vice president of the Cleveland NAACP, did the benediction. (www.clevelandurbannews.com) /(www.kathywraycolemanonlinenewsblog.com).


Last Updated on Wednesday, 26 August 2015 03:34

Congressman Stokes remembered by Black elected officials, retired judges, community activists, Democratic Party affiliates in interviews with Cleveland Urban News.Com

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Pictured are the late Congressman Louis Sokes, Ohio's first Black congressman (wearing maroon tie), retired Ohio Eighth District Court of Appeals judge Sara J. Harper, also the third vice president of the Cleveland NAACP (wearing eyeglasses), retired East Cleveland Judge Una H.R. Kennon, the chairman of the Black Women Political Action Committee of greater Cleveland and president of the East Cleveland Board of Education (wearing turtle-neck sweater), state Rep. John Barnes Jr. (D-12), (wearing purple tie), Community Activist Art McKoy (wearing turban), and Charles E. Bibb Sr., a former East Cleveland councilman and current president of the Carnegie Roundtable of greater Cleveland (wearing grey-striped tie)

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. Email:  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it . Coleman is a 22-year political, legal and investigative journalist who trained for 17 years, and under six different editors, at the Call and Post Newspaper in Cleveland, Ohio. (www.clevelandurbannews.com) / (www.kathywraycolemanonlinenewsblog.com).


CLEVELAND, Ohio-Cleveland Urban News.Com, Ohio's most read digital Black newspaper, spoke one-on-one with members of the greater Cleveland Black community, namely elected officials, community activists, Democratic Party affiliates, Cleveland NAACP officials, retired judges and the president of  the Black Women Political Action Committee, all of them more than  eager to pay tribute to the legendary Louis Stokes, the first Black from Ohio to serve in Congress who died on August 18 at 90-years -old at his home in Shaker Heights, Ohio, a Cleveland suburb. (Editor's note: Stokes died following complications relative to brain an lung cancer. A public viewing will be held from 7 am to 5 pm on Monday, Aug., 24 at the rotunda at Cleveland City Hall,  where the former congressman will lie in state. It will be followed by a memorial service. Open-to-the public funeral services are Tuesday, Aug. 25 at 11 am at Olivet Institutional Baptist Church on Cleveland's east side at 8712 Quincy Avenue).


His legacy, they say,  reflects a lifetime of achievements that are, no doubt, beyond reproach, one that began in the Outwaite Homes, the city's first federally funded housing projects, which were situated on the largely Black east side of the majority Black city of Cleveland. There, he and his younger brother and only sibling grew up poor, Black, and proud, and were nurtured by a widowed Black working class mother determined to make a better life for her two children.


He was yet determined, say his admirers, to advocate for Black and poor people, and others, and to make his mark in life as a federal lawmaker with impeccable credentials and an uncanny zeal to change America for the better.


Interviewed by Cleveland Urban News.Com Editor-in-Chief Kathy Wray Coleman,  who trained as a reporter for 17 years for the Call and Post Newspaper in Cleveland, knew Stokes and covered a fraction of his congressional tenure were state Rep. John Barnes Jr. (D-12),  a Cleveland Democrat, East Cleveland community activist Art McKoy, retired Ohio Eighth District Court of Appeals judge Sara J. Harper, who is also the third vice-president of the Cleveland NAACP, Carnegie Roundtable President Charles E. Bibb Sr., and retired East Cleveland judge Una H.R. Kennon president of the Black Women Political Action Committee of greater Cleveland and president of the East Cleveland Board of Education.


"He was seven years old and I was six when we lived in the housing projects in Cleveland," said Harper, 89, a retired Ohio Eighth District Court of Appeals judge, and currently the third vice president of the Cleveland NAACP. "At that time in the projects it was a wonderful time, and we stayed close the rest of our lives."


Harper said that Stokes' leadership skills were evident in his youth, and that he cherished the right to vote, and fought all of his political life to protect that constitutional right, which she says is being carelessly taken for granted.


"The right to vote is being ignored today by too may people,"said Harper.


Stokes was a Democrat who served 15 terms in Congress representing the 11th congressional district, formerly the 21st congressional district, a largely Black congressional district that he was first elected in 1968, and after he help to create it by successfully arguing that year as a lawyer for the Cleveland NAACP for a reprieve from racial gerrymandering before the U.S. Supreme Court.

 

As a congressman and chair of the House Select Committee on Assassinations, Stokes led investigations relative to the the Iran Contra Affair, and the assassinations of President John F. Kennedy and the the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. And he also served as chairman of the House Ethics and Appropriations committees, among a laundry list  of high tech congressional assignments and endeavors.


"Congressman Stokes was a change agent in a critical time in American history, said state Rep Barnes Jr (D-12), a protege of his father, John Barnes Sr., a former Cleveland Ward 1 councilman during the Stokes era and that of the Old Black Political Guard, which in 1967 helped to elect Stokes' younger brother, the late Carl B. Stokes, the first Black mayor of Cleveland, and of a major American city.


"It was a pleasure being in a congressional district of a congressman who was the first Black elected to Congress in Ohio," said  Bibb Sr., a Cuyahoga County Democratic Party operative and a former East Cleveland Councilman during the Stokes era who now leads the Greater Cleveland Carnegie Roundtable.


Local community activist Art McKoy, who leads the grassroots group Black on Black Crime Inc., which is stationed in East Cleveland, a largely Black impoverished Cleveland suburb, said that Stoke's influence was universal.


"I made the Congressman nervous sometimes as a community activist," said McKoy, who said that Stokes was personable and made time to hear pertinent concerns from community activists and others one-on-one.


"I am a veteran, said McKoy. "What I remember most about the congressman, in addition to his bubbly smile, is that  he used his influence to bring in money and other resources to revived the Veterans Hospital, which was once a second class medical facility."


Kennon told Cleveland Urban News.Com that Stokes supported women and made sure that other greater Cleveland Blacks and women got elected to office, including members of Cleveland City Council, judges, and state legislators. She said that she became an East Cleveland judge, an election position that she held from 1986 until her retirement from the bench in 2005, because the congressman recommended her appointment to then Democratic governor Dick Celeste to fill a vacancy on the court.

 

Members of the Black women's political action organization that she leads, a local group whose mission is to get Black women elected to office, are "saddened by his passing," said Keenon.

(www.clevelandurbannews.com) / (www.kathywraycolemanonlinenewsblog.com).


Last Updated on Tuesday, 25 August 2015 06:09

Louis Stokes, the first Black congressman from Ohio, dies at 90, public funeral arrangements are announced by the family....In Congress Stokes fought for the poor, led investigations into the assassinations of JFK and MLK

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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. Email: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it . Coleman is a 22-year political, legal and investigative journalist who trained for 17 years, and under six different editors, at the Call and Post Newspaper in Cleveland, Ohio.

(www.clevelandurbannews.com) / (www.kathywraycolemanonlinenewsblog.com).

SHAKER HEIGHTS, Ohio- Louis Stokes, Ohio's first Black congressman, who served in the U.S. House of Representatives for 30 years and represented Ohio's largely Black 11th congressional district, formerly the 21st congressional district, died Tuesday at his home in Shaker Heights, Ohio, a prominent Cleveland suburb. He was 90- years- old.


A public viewing will be held from 7 am to 5 pm on Monday, Aug., 24 at the rotunda at Cleveland City Hall, where the former congressman will lie in state. It will be followed by a memorial service, a family spokesperson said.


Open-to-the public funeral services are Tuesday, Aug. 25 at 11 am at Olivet Institutional Baptist Church on Cleveland's east side at 8712 Quincy Avenue.


Burial services, however, are private.


"Our family is mourning the loss of our husband, father, grandfather and close confidant," the Stokes family said in a press release.


"He loved Cleveland and was honored to have the opportunity to represent its citizens in the United States Congress, and he was equally committed to our family, and his love knew no bounds," the family statement said. "It is this enduring love that will sustain us in the days and years to come."


The family said that the elder statesman died peacefully with his wife of 55 years, Jay Stokes, by his side, and that he was "guided by faith, while embracing the prayers and well wishes of family, friends and constituents."


Stokes announced publicly in July that he had been diagnosed with lung and brain cancer.


The former federal lawmaker served 15 terms in Congress representing Cleveland and several of its eastern suburbs before retiring in 1998.


He was a staunch advocate for the poor and disenfranchised and a one time chairman of the Congressional Black Caucus. He was also once a member of the prominent Ways and Means Committee in Congress.


As the then head of the House Select Committee on Assassinations, he led investigations in the 1970s into the assassinations of president John F. Kennedy and the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.


After a retiring from Congress, Stokes worked as an executive attorney at the Washington, D.C. office of the law firm of Squires, Sanders and Dempsey, a position he held until 2012.


His younger brother and only sibling, the late Carl B. Stokes, who died in 1996 of cancer of the esophagus, was the first Black mayor of the city of Cleveland and of a major American city. His daughter, Angela Stokes, is a Cleveland Municipal Court judge, while another, Lori Stokes, is a broadcast journalist, as is his  son, Chuck Stokes.

 

Reared by a single mother after their father died when they were children, the Stokes brothers rose from a Cleveland housing project to become prominent political figures on the local, state, and national and international levels.

 

Louis Stokes was a Prince Hall Freemason, and a member of the Cleveland Alumni chapter of Kappa Alpha Psi fraternity. He and his second wife, Jay, have seven grandchildren.   (www.clevelandurbannews.com) / (www.kathywraycolemanonlinenewsblog.com).

(www.clevelandurbannews.com) / (www.kathywraycolemanonlinenewsblog.com).


Last Updated on Monday, 24 August 2015 05:44

County Prosecutor Tim McGinty denying Blacks, others due process by rushing criminal cases through the courts Common Pleas Judge John Sutula says, McGinty says that slow case dockets deny victims speedy redress and may violate speedy trial rights

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Pictured are Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Tim McGinty (wearing pinkish polka-dotted tie), Cuyahoga County Court of Common Pleas Administrative and Presiding Judge John Russo (wearing black printed tie), and Cuyahoga County Court of Common Pleas Judge John Sutula (wearing maroon tie and eyeglasses).

 

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. Email:  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

 

Coleman is a 22-year political, legal and investigative journalist who trained for 17 years, and under five different editors, at the Call and Post Newspaper in Cleveland, Ohio

 

(www.clevelandurbannews.com) /(www.kathywraycolemanonlinenewsblog.com)

 

CLEVELAND, Ohio- Cuyahoga County Court of Common Pleas Judge John Sutula has accused County Prosecutor Tim McGinty of picking up old criminal cases, some of them lingering for more than two decades, and rushing them through the courts, and of simply rushing the cases through in general. And in turn, says Sutula, the county prosecutor is denying the defendants, most of them Black, due process of law. (Editor's note: A large amount of the defendants, whether innocent or guilty, end up convicted and sent to prison , data show, while McGinty brags of his alleged high turnover rate for getting convictions).


In some of the cases, including high profile rape cases such as the Ariel Castro child kidnapping and rape case, the defendants either plead guilty or are convicted in under a month McGinty boasts. And while it may appear fair on the outside, and court records show that it was likely legitimate regarding Castro, Sutula contends that it is unconstitutional in many cases.


The allegation is a strong one against a county prosecutor already under fire for protecting White Cleveland cops that gun-down unarmed Blacks in cold blood and do not spend a day in jail, practically all of them escaping prosecution by a legal system that consistently

disenfranchises the Black community.


Changes in recent years in county policies and state law relative to rape kits have drawn McGinty's interest, and he is picking up rape kits that lay dormant and untested, some for decades, and running away with affiliated criminal prosecutions, due process be damned, says Sutula.


A judge on the common pleas bench since 2006, Sutula told the Cleveland Plain Dealer, Ohio's largest newspaper, for a story published on July 17 that "McGinty wants to "rush to judgment, but criminal defendants have a right to due process that has to be seen through to the end. "


The controversy stems from a public feud with McGinty, a former common pleas judge himself and county prosecutor since 2012, and Sutula, and Presiding and Administrative Judge John Russo, who leads the 34-member largely White general division common pleas court of Cuyahoga County.


Ohio common pleas judges hear felony cases with or without attached misdemeanors, and divorces and civil cases with damages

sought above $15,000, among other legal issues.


A zealous and sometimes overzealous

prosecutor who is up for reelection to a second four-year term next year, McGinty says that criminal cases just sit on the case dockets of Sutula and Russo, and some of the dockets of other county judges. Hence, says the county prosecutor, victims of crime are denied justice, notwithstanding his seemingly prejudicial posture that all the accused are outright guilty.


Cuyahoga County, the state's largest of 88 counties, has some 59 combined townships, villages or municipalities, including the major American city of Cleveland, which is led by three-term Black mayor Frank Jackson, a Democrat and former city council president. It is also a Democratic stronghold, and is roughly 29 percent Black, U.S. Census reports reveal.


McGinty says that Russo and Sutula have at least 25 criminal cases between them that have been pending for a year while some of the defendants in the cases, most of them Black, remain in the county jail. That is not what bothers him most, he says. He wants them rushed to trial and convicted, unless, of course, a plea deal of his choosing is reached.


But McGinty's allegation that county judges are sitting on cases also raises questions about whether they are manipulating the speedy trial rights of the defendants, those that have not already been tricked into waiving such rights. That, said sources, is where McGinty can come in handy as a hot head that will buck the system in a minute.


Both of the judges deny the allegation as to the claim of procrastination saying challenges to the appeals court,  underlying case issues, and a host of other legal ramblings are the reason for the delay.  (Editor's note: McGinty later had the Plain Dealer do a subsequent story saying he apologizes and that Sutula and Russo are great people, a ploy, says sources, because he wants their support when he seeks reelection in 2016)


What sticks, however, is the fact that a county prosecutor is indirectly accusing

common pleas judges of slow dockets to keep criminal defendants that are not out on bond in jail, and the county prosecutor, who is White, is rushing cases through the courts. Due process, says Sutula, is being blatantly ignored, and the Black community is disproportionately impacted.


A study commissioned by the Cleveland NAACP found that the common pleas judges of Cuyahoga County routinely give harsher sentences to

Blacks, though nothing is being done about the purportedly racially discriminatory practice.


McGinty, Sutula and Russo are all White, and all three of them are Democrats.


(www.clevelandurbannews.com) / (www.kathywraycolemanonlinenewsblog.com)

 

 

Last Updated on Sunday, 23 August 2015 06:12

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