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10-year anniversary rally of the '137 shots' Cleveland police shooting deaths of unarmed Blacks Malissa Williams and Timothy Russell is November 29, 2022 at 5:15pm at Heritage Middle School....By

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Pictured are 137 shots unarmed Cleveland police fatal shooting victim Malissa Williams  and 137 shots unarmed Cleveland police fatal shooting victim Timothy Russell and, Ohio's most read Black digital newspaper and Black blog with some 5 million views on Google Plus alone.Tel: (216) 659-0473 and Email: Kathy Wray Coleman, editor-in-chief, and who trained for 17 years at the Call and Post Newspaper in Cleveland, Ohio. 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.

CLEVELAND, Ohio- Tuesday, Nov 29, 2022 marks the 10-year anniversary of the  "137 shots" Cleveland police shooting deaths of unarmed Blacks Malissa Williams and Timothy Russell, which occurred the deadly night of Nov. 29, 2012  when Cleveland police chased the duo via the car Williams was driving from downtown Cleveland to neighboring East Cleveland and gunned them down execution style, a celebrated car chase and police shooting shooting that still haunts the two largely Black impoverished cities to this day.

Community activists and other community members, led by activist groups Black on Black Crime Inc, Imperial Women Coalition and Oppressed People's Nation, will remember Malissa Williams and Timothy Russell, and all like them who have been erroneously gunned down by police, at 5:15 pm on Tuesday, Nov 29 in the parking lot of Heritage Middle School in East Cleveland where the killings of Russell and Williams occurred (Editor's note: The name Heritage Middle school has since beeen changed by the school board to Kirk Middle School).

The annual rally event each November is commonly known as "137 shots" for the number of shots Cleveland police took in unceremoniously gunning down the unarmed Black couple that was not wanted by the law.

Speakers at the upcoming 10-year anniversary rally include residents of Cleveland and East Cleveland, community activists, Black elected officials, educators, and family members of Black people shot and killed by Cleveland and greater Cleveland cops and other area law enforcement types.

Black on Black Crime President Alfred Porter Jr, an annual co-organizer of the event along with Kathy Wray  Coleman of Imperial Women Coalition and seasoned activist Art McKoy of Black on Black Crime, say excessive force cases in the  community, whether it'ss East Cleveland, a poor, Black Cleveland suburb, or Cleveland itself, still merit attention.

"We will rally and march on the 10 year anniversary of the 137 shots beginning in the parking lot at Heritage Middle School where unarmed Blacks Malissa Williams and Timothy Russell were gunned down as we continue the fight for police reforms in Cleveland and East Cleveland," said activist Alfred porter Jr.

Other activists agree with Porter as to the importance of keeping police reform and excessive force issues before the public during a time of national outcry and growing distrust by Black America in the nation's troubled and intrinsically racist legal system.

"The annual anniversary event is needed to remember the "137 shots" atrocity and to continue our push against excessive force killings by Cleveland police of defenseless Black people and for comprehensive police reforms across the board in Cleveland, neighboring East Cleveland, and elsewhere in Cuyahoga County,"  said  Coleman, a seasoned Black Cleveland activist who also leads Women's March Cleveland.

Like Porter, Coleman has been a key "137 shots" anniversary organizer since 2013 and she says that activists will continue to call for police reforms and changes in the legal system, including "changes under state law and the Rules of Criminal Procedure in Ohio as to a grand jury and indictment process that favors police and the wealthy, and disenfranchises Black people and  poor people, among others."

Last year's anniversary rally at Heritage Middle School came on the heels of passage of Issue 24, a Cleveland police reform initiative overwhelmingly approved by voters in November of 2021 that changed the city's office of professional standards and established a 13 member community review commission appointed by the mayor and Cleveland City Council that has public policy making authority.

Also at the upcoming rally and vigil, activists say they will discuss former Cleveland mayor Frank Jackson's no chase police, which among other mandates, precludes Cleveland police car chases of people absent a suspected felony, a mandate Jackson put in place following several reckless police chases and after Williams and Russell were chased by police by car from downtown Cleveland to neighboring East Cleveland and gunned down execution -style. A former four-term Black mayor and Cleveland's longest serving mayor, Jackson retired last year.

Newly elected Cleveland Mayor Justin Bibb and city council president Blaine Griffin, both Black,  have both said publicly that they will support such a no chase policy to remain in place and activists said that they intend to hold them to their promises.

Community activists say they will never forget the night nearly 10 years ago when Cleveland police chased Williams, 30 at the time of her death, and Russell, 43, from Cleveland to East Cleveland and gunned them down with 137 bullets in a  car in the Heritage Middle School parking lot.

On that deadly November 29th night a White Cleveland cop, according to public records, claims he mistook Russell's 1979 Chevy Malibu Classic backfiring near the Justice Center in downtown Cleveland and began pursuit of the homeless couple, also radioing the dispatch to call for backup, which came in droves, precautionary measures be damned.

Some 276 patrol officers were working the night of the high speed 22 min. chase that ended in the Heritage Middle School parking lot in neighboring  and impoverished East Cleveland, a Cleveland suburb, Williams and Russell chased by some 64 patrol cars, and literally fleeing for their lives.

The city of Cleveland later settled a wrongful death lawsuit for $3 million that was split between the families of the two victims, Russell leaving behind a grown disabled son. Williams' parents have both since died.

Of the 13 Cleveland officers that fired the combined 137 shots at Russell and Williams, 12 White and one Hispanic, six were fired, including Michael Brelo, who jumped on the hood of Russell's car and shot 49 times through the front windshield, both Russell and Williams dying at the scene

Five of the six officers fired for their roles in the shooting had their jobs reinstated in 2017 by an arbitrator and are Michael Farley, Erin O'Donnell, Christopher Ereg, Wilfredo Diaz, and Brian Sabolik.

The  sixth officer, officer Brelo, was not reinstated after he was fired following his acquittal in May of 2015 on two counts of voluntary manslaughter in a bench trial before Democratic Cuyahoga County Court of Common Pleas Judge John O'Donnell, an acquittal that brought about community protests and some 71 arrests, mainly for minor infractions with police, though a few protesters were charged with felonies.

Activists and some Black leaders, led by some Black members of 17-member Cleveland City Council such as Ward 9 Councilman Kevin Conwell, all of them Democrats like O'Donnell, later blocked the common pleas judge as to his 2016 bid for a seat on the Ohio Supreme Court, a race he lost by less than 24,000 votes.

A bid by the judge in 2020 for a Supreme Court seat met the same opposition, O'Donnell, in turn, losing to incumbent Justice Sharon Kennedy, a Republican elected chief justice of the court via the Nov 8 general election.

Cleveland police supervisors Patricia Coleman and Randolph Dailey, Michael Donegan, Jason Edens and Paul Wilson all initially faced  misdemeanor dereliction of duty charges regarding their roles in the celebrated shooting.

But charges were dismissed against Edens, Wilson and Donegan, and  Sgt. Coleman subsequently won an acquittal by an East Cleveland jury.

Sgt. Dailey's case never got duly prosecuted after Coleman won her case.

Former county prosecutor Tim McGinty, criticized for scheming and preventing felony indictments against the cops at issue, and also protecting the rookie cop that, in 2014, shot and killed 12-year-old Tamir Rice, was voted out of office in 2016 in favor of fellow Democrat and current county prosecutor Mike O'Malley.

The "137 shots" shooting fiasco is the impetus for a  court-monitored consent decree for police reforms with the city of Cleveland and the U.S. Department of Justice, It, along with so many other excessive force police killings in Cleveland of unarmed Blacks including 12-year-old Tamir Rice, Brandon Jones, rapper Kenneth Smith, and Tanisha Anderson, of which underscores the necessity for true police reform in the city. .

Other than Anderson 38, whom police slammed to the concrete and killed at the family home on Cleveland's east side in November 2014, the year Tamir was shot and killed, all were killed by gun fire from anxious, trigger-happy cops.


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