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Cleveland's Tyre Nichols vigil draws about 50 people, far less than the George Floyd riot crowd in Cleveland in May of 2020....Some people say that Cleveland activists should be focusing on how Blacks in Cleveland are treated, like in the county jail

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By Kathy Wray Coleman, associate publisher, editor-in-chief


CLEVELAND, Ohio- A vigil held at the Free Stamp in downtown Cleveland, Ohio Sunday evening for justice for Tyre Nichols, the 29- year-old Black man whom Memphis police beat to death earlier in the month, drew hardly 50 people, a far cry from the thousands that rallied in the same spot on May 30,  2020 for George Floyd. Led by Black Lives Matter Cleveland like the aforementioned rally in 2020, activists simply did not show up in large numbers, though several seasoned Black Cleveland activists said that they were not invited to partner with the coalition sponsoring the event and felt subordinated to White and other non-seasoned activists and suburban-led groups by the organizers.


They also complained that Cleveland's mainstream media is partly behind manipulating the event and shutting out outspoken seasoned Black Cleveland activists who are not getting grant money from the county like Black Lives Matter and some other groups to stay silent about public corruption, excessive force, and malicious prosecutions against the Black community by the office of Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Mike O'Malley.


"Nope," said Black on Black Crime President Alfred Porter Jr when asked if his group had been consulted to join a so-called coalition for the Nichols vigil in Cleveland on Sunday. Others said that greater Cleveland activists should be focusing on what is going on in Cleveland and surrounding areas, including a Cuyahoga County Jail where dozens of inmates have suspiciously died in the past five years and a special forces unit of the jail dubbed "The Men in Black'' by a damning U.S. Marshal's report in 2018 is still allegedly harassing inmates. (Editor's note: "The Men in Black" are also called "The Goon Squad" by county jail inmates).


Nichols was stomped to death by five Black Memphis cops on Jan 7 during a traffic stop. A police video of the incident that city officials subsequently made public reveals that they beat him for about three minutes, punching and kicking him in the head and striking him on the back with a baton while he was restrained and crying out for his mother. All five police officers have been fired and indicted on a host of criminal charges, including second degree murder. They were part of an elite and now defunct special forces team called "the Scorpions" that Clevelanders say is not much different than "The Men in Black," who freely stalk and intimidate Cuyahoga County jail inmates, both men and women alike.


Floyd was Black like Nichols and  was murdered by a police officer in Minneapolis, Minnesota during an arrest made after a store clerk suspected he may have used a counterfeit twenty-dollar bill. Derek Chauvin, one of the four police officers who arrived on the scene, knelt on Floyd's neck and back for nine minutes and 29 seconds until he murdered him After Floyd's murder, protests against police brutality spread throughout the nation.


Like some other major American such as Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Dallas and Columbus, the Cleveland protest for Floyd turned into a riot as protesters torched police cars, wrote graffiti on landmark buildings and trashed downtown restaurants and other businesses Some of the rioters were charged with crimes, mainly misdemeanors but also some felonies, and most took plea deals. White suburban teens who torched police cars and were charged criminally went home to their parents rather than to prison, some Black men who trashed businesses got three-year prison sentences, disparate prison sentences in fact, sources said.


Floyd's  dying words, "I can't breathe" became a rallying slogan and like Nichols, Floyd also cried out for his mother while he was being murdered by police All four of the  Minneapolis police officers involved in Floyd's killing, including Chauvin, were convicted of misbehavior and imprisoned relative to the tragic incident, Chauvin's convictions of which include murder, and the other three former cops, federal Civil Rights violations. and, the most read Black digital newspaper in Ohio and in the Midwest. Tel: (216) 659-0473. Email: 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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