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Black Lives Matter, anti-Cuyahoga County jail activists to protest outside of the county jail in Cleveland against a slated new jail , jail conditions, and 4 recent inmate deaths in a jail where several inmates have died since 2018.-Clevelandurbannews.co

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Staff article:

CLEVELAND, Ohio- A coalition of community activists upset over the recent deaths of jail inmates and a new multi-million dollar Cuyahoga County Jail complex slated for construction by county council will hold a short rally and press conference on Monday, Nov. 27 at 2 pm in downtown Cleveland at the Justice Center outside of the jail on Lakeside  Avenue near Ontario Street.


Family members of inmates who have died or have been murdered in the county jail are invited to speak briefly too, organizers said.

In a press release to Clevelandurbannews.com and Kathywraycolemanonlinenewsblog.com, activists, both Blacks and Whites alike, said they demand answers from County Executive Chris Ronayne, who was overwhelmingly elected and took office this year for his first term, new County Sheriff Harold Pretel, and county council members regarding four inmate deaths this year in the county jail, which also houses Cleveland Municipal Court inmates and some federal district court inmates, among others. Pretel is a former Cleveland deputy police chief.


Activists say that they will also use the occasion to address the recent police shooting of a community member during a wellness check in Garfield Heights, a largely Black Cleveland suburb.

According to the press release, the coalition includes the Cuyahoga County Jail Coalition, No New Jail Cuyahoga, Black Lives Matter Cleveland, Inter-Religious Taskforce on Central America, and REACH.

Activists said that the protest will demand transparency and accountability for the four inmate deaths, immediate and substantive changes to the conditions in the jail, and a moratorium on the sale of the Justice Complex and the building of a new $750 million jail complex until the systemic problems with leadership and staff are solved.

"We can't build our way out of systemic violence. It's time for care, not cages," the coalition said on its Facebook event page.

The recent inmate deaths, and a score of inmate overdoses, show that jail officials are not adequately addressing medical needs of community members who are incarcerated, say activists. Furthermore, they say that two of the four deaths are under investigation due to questionable circumstances around their deaths, including a more recent case of the death of Rogelio Latorre.

Cleveland.com wrote in an article that "It is unclear why Latorre was in the jail. Local and federal court dockets do not list him, and county spokespersons did not return messages seeking comment." This is also fueling the controversy.

Since the stunning US Marshals Report released publicly in 2018 that found atrocious and inhumane conditions for inmates, there have been some 27 known deaths in the jail, say activists. And in 2022 alone they say there were seven known deaths.


What the actual jail inmate death count is remains to be seen, says sources, particularly since falsification and tampering with records by common pleas judges, prosecutors and court clerks are rampant, and go on unchecked.

A new jail complex will not solve the staffing and leadership problems that these deaths and notorious jail conditions allegedly expose, activists say.

No New Jail Cuyahoga and REACH say they will speak about the tragic shooting of a community member by police during a wellness check in Garfield Heights, where the new jail will be located..

The new jail, say anti-jail activists, was rushed, is non-transparent, and is a costly project that will not do anything to help change conditions for incarcerated people in the county, a disproportionate number of them Black.

Cuyahoga County includes Cleveland and is Ohio's second largest of its 88 counties, It is roughly 29 percent Black and is a Democratic stronghold, as is Cleveland, a majority Black major American city dealing with increased violent crime and heightened murders of Black women that have doubled since the pandemic, research shows.

Activists also want something done as to the malicious prosecutions of Blacks pushed by racist cops and prosecutors and the blatant and unconstitutional denial of indigent counsel to Black people by White common pleas judges on the take, and by the county, which is led by White folks too and has the oneness under state law to provide poor Blacks with appointed counsel, even when corrupt and racist judges fail to do so.

The judges, say activists, are a huge part of the problem as to jail overcrowding and Blacks and others jailed illegally and they want to know what role, if any, the judges play as to heightened jail deaths since 2018. White common pleas judges are denying indigent Blacks counsel so that if they are murdered in the jail by design it will be easier to cover-up the deaths, they say. And some inmates dying in jail are on quasi-death row instituted by judges and prosecutors, and before they are convicted of a crime. They say it is quasi capital punishment type activity and a by-product of county government racism and public corruption, and that its is pervasive.


Some community members fear that the county jail has become a death chamber for inmates, led by judges and prosecutors and as county officials and the public defender's office say nothing and do nothing..

One former jail inmate, who is Black and spoke on condition of anonymity for fear of being harmed, said she has been jailed in the county at least three times for nothing by racist and wicked White judges and racist White cops and was allegedly told by inmates via the most recent time she was jailed that she would eventually be killed. and that police, crooked prosecutors, and some crazy judges want her murdered to silence her.


"They want to get it done cleverly in here, and without getting caught," Black inmates said.


A county public corruption probe initiated by the FBI and other authorities more that 15 years ago that ultimately saw two common pleas judges and a host of others imprisoned remains in existence, sources say.

Clevelandurbannews.com and Kathywraycolemanonlinenewsblog.com the most read Black digital newspaper and blog in Ohio and in the Midwest Tel: (216) 659-0473. Email: editor@clevelandurbannews.com. We interviewed former president Barack Obama one-on-one when he was campaigning for president. As to the Obama interview, CLICK HERE TO READ THE ENTIRE ARTICLE AT CLEVELAND URBAN NEWS.COM, OHIO'S LEADER IN BLACK DIGITAL NEWS.


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