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 (www.clevelandurbannews.com) / (www.kathywraycolemanonlinenewsblog.com)
Kathy Wray Coleman is a community activist and 21- year investigative journalist who trained for 17 years at the Call and Post Newspaper in Cleveland, Ohio.
CLEVELAND, Ohio-Cleveland's third Black police chief told 60 minutes during a 15 minute segment of controversial Cleveland police killings of Black people, including a 12-year-old boy, that the Cleveland Police Department does not have a pattern of excessive force and has no systemic problems in spite of findings issued last month by the U.S. Department of Justice to the complete opposite.
The pro-police posture by Police Chief Calvin Williams (pictured) has no significance over the determination by federal officials, namely U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder, because Williams is merely a city employee, and what some have called a lapdog of Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson.
Jackson is also Black and has balked at the DOJ findings in a manner similar to when some Black Cleveland Board of Education members decades ago resented the findings by then U.S. District Court Judge Frank Battisti of a violation by the city and state of Ohio of the equal protection clause of the 14th Amendment as to operating a dual school system to the detriment of Black children and their families. That desegregation court order resulted in cross town busing, a now defunct court order that was dissolved in 1998 followed by a state law that gave control of the city schools to the city mayor.
Now in the second year of a third-four year term Jackson, a former city council president. was first elected mayor of the majority Black major American city in 2005.
Whether Williams, a 29-year veteran of the largely White Cleveland police force, will be branded a sellout to the Black community remains to be seen.
Some greater Cleveland community activists said at a town hall meeting last week sponsored by the Greater Cleveland Civil and Human Rights Committee at the Cleveland Public Library Martin Luther King branch on police-community relations that they support Williams, "but will picket him if necessary."
High profile police killings of Blacks, from the shooting death last year by Cleveland police of 12-year-old Tamir Rice, to the killing last year of Tanisha Anderson while in police custody, and the November 2012 slaying by police slinging 137 bullets of unarmed Malissa Williams and Timothy Russell aired on the 60 minutes segment Sunday night.
CBS News Correspondent Bill Whitaker reported from Cleveland where he accompanies two of the the city's White officers on routine patrol on the city's largely Black east side and discusses the controversial policing issues that have caused racial unrest in the largely Black major metropolitan city. Those cops did not have a clue, data suggest, and both told Whitaker that they are afraid of Black people, particularly Black men.