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Cleveland Mayor Justin Bibb names interim police chief Wayne Drummond permanent chief, Drummond Black and a 33- year veteran of the force.....By Clevelandurbannews.com and Kathywraycolemanonlinenewsblog.com, Ohio's Black digital news leader

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Pictured is Cleveland Police Chief Wayne Drummond
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.

By Kathy Wray Coleman, associate publisher, editor (To hire this political and investigative reporter (Coleman) call 216-659-0473 or email us at editor@clvelenadurbannews.com)

CLEVELAND, Ohio — During a press conference on Thursday, Cleveland Mayor Justin Bibb, alongside Chief Director of Public Safety Karrie Howard, Council President Blaine Griffin, Ward 8 Councilman and Safety Committee Chair Mike Polensek, and faith and community leaders, announced the permanent appointment of interim chief Dornat "Wayne" A. Drummond as Cleveland's 41st chief of police.

The appointment comes as city lawyers have reached a tentative collective bargaining agreement with the Cleveland Police Patromen's Association and an affiliated raise for the police rank and file. At the time the deputy chief of police, Drummond stepped up as chief after former police chief Calvin Williams, whose tenure as police chief was steeped in controversy, retired last  year.

Mayor Bibb has been in office since January and is the city's fourth Black mayor, behind his predecesor, Frank Jackson, a strong mayor like Bibb, though Jackson, who opted not to seek reelection last year after four terms as mayor, had an adverserial relstionship with the police union leadership team

Former police chief Calvin Williams is Black and so is Chief Drummond, Bibb, Griffin and Howard. And Cleveland, a Democratic stronghold, is roughly 60 percent Black with a population of some 372,000 people.

The mayor had said that a search would ensue for a permanent replacement for Williams, but he has since decided to promote from within. He said that Drummond is more than qualified to lead Cleveland's police department, the city still under a court-monitored consent decree for police reforms that was instituted with the U.S. Department of Justice in 2015 behind excessive force police killings of a string of Blacks since 2012.

"Sometimes you don't need to do a search to find your leader. Sometimes that leader finds you," said Mayor Bibb, 34, at Thursday's press conference. "Over the past six months as mayor, I have been consistently impressed with Chief Drummond's skills, dedication and genuine passion for the mission of protecting and serving the people of Cleveland. He has demonstrated from day one why he is the right leader to take our police department into the future."

The city's public safety director was as equally supportive.


"I am proud to continue working alongside Chief Wayne Drummond," said Chief Director of Public Safety Karrie D. Howard. "He has been a progressive, dynamic leader of the Cleveland Division of Police and is a true asset to the city."


Drummond said that he is ready for the job, a task that comes behind a wealth of discrepancies since he first became a cop in the late1980s. They include the police shooting death of Michael Pipkins in 1992  to that of so many more Black people thereafter, including the '137 shots' police shooting deaths of Malissa Williams and Timothy Russell in 2012, and that of 12-year-old Tamir Rice in 2014, not to mention Brandon Jones, rapper Kenneth "Ball" Smith and so many others.


"When I started my career over 33 years ago as a first district patrol officer, I never envisioned that I would become a chief of police," Chief Drummond said. "Every experience I have had, from that day until today, has prepared me well for this opportunity."


In addition to a host of excessive force cases that brought large financial settlements from the city, including $6 million to the family of Tamir Rice, the city faced a riot in May of 2020 during a George Floyd protest in downtown Cleveland, and last November, Cleveland voters overwhelmingly approved Issue 24, a police reform initiative that gives the community more say relative to policing issues.

Drummond became a police officer in 1989 and was promoted to the rank of sergeant in 2000, and then to lieutenant in 2002, supervising units, including the fugitive unit. He also served as the division's public information officer.

In 2005, he was appointed to the rank of commander, overseeing the division's 5th district on the city's largely Black east side, which includes the Collinwood and Glenville neighborhoods. He was appointed to the rank of deputy chief of field operations in 2014, overseeing the five neighborhood districts, the Bureau of Traffic, the Bureau of Community Policing, and special events for the division.


"Over the years I have always appreciated how Chief Drummond, whom I met when he was Fifth District commander, spent time in the community," said longtime Cleveland resident Bill Newsome. "I was living in Glenville when he came on and he was always a presence. He didn't send someone; he came out himself and we felt a real connection with him."


Drummond was born in Montego Bay, Jamaica and grew up in the city's Fairfax Neighborhood. He attended the University of Toledo where he earned a bachelor's degree. He and his wife Trish, whom he has been married to for 27 years, have four children and three grandchildren.

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.

 

Last Updated on Sunday, 31 July 2022 07:35

Vice President Kamala Harris speaks at the NAACP convention in Atlantic City on issues ranging from Roe v Wade and abortion access to gun control, Civil and Voting rights, and the Emmett Till Anti-Lynching Act....By editor Kathy Wray Coleman

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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.

 

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

ATLANTIC CITY, New Jersey- Vice President Kamala Harris spoke at the NAACP National Convention in Atlantic City, New Jersey on Monday, saying the Biden-Harris administration remains wholeheartedly in support of the nation's oldest Civil Rights organization.

Air Force Two landed at about 10:35 a.m at the Atlantic City International Airport and Harris was greeted there by Atlantic City Mayor Marty Small, and the media.

Upon taking the podium at the Atlantic City Convention Center in downtown Atlantic City, the vice president thanked NAACP President and CEO Derrick Johnson for his public service, and his commitment to furthering Civil Rights.

"President Johnson, thank you for your years of dedicated partnership and leadership," said Harris to a wealth of applause, adding that Johnson has stood tall "on the issue of voting rights and so many more issues that challenge our nation and its people."

The vice president's speech to convention delegates touched on Civil and voting rights, and gun control, as well as women's rights, the country's first Black and first female vice president also participating in a round table discussion on abortion access and women's reproductive freedoms with some 20 New Jersey state lawmakers.That discussion, which was also part of Monday's NAACP convention forum, comes in the wake of the Supreme Court's June 24 decision that overturned Roe v Wade, the 1973 landmark decision that made abortion legal nationwide.

In assessing and upholding a Mississippi state law that makes abortion illegal after 15 weeks of pregnancy, the nation's high court, in Dobbs vs Jackson Heath Organization, knocked down Roe v Wade and relegated authority on whether to outlaw abortion, or to restrict it, to the respective state legislatures

A former California attorney general and U.S. Senator-turned vice president, Harris called the Supreme Court's controversial decision to overturn Roe v Wade "deeply harmful to our nation."

While her speech was laced with references to Roe v Wade, the vice president also said that Congress must be more aggressive in fighting gun violence and that state legislatures nationwide must also step up to address the growing epidemic that disproportionately impacts America's Black community.

"We must repeal the liability shield that protects gun manufacturers and we must renew the assault weapons ban," said Harris, who has appeared before teh Civil Righst group several times, but for the first time as vice president on Monday.

She talked about poverty, racism, and the lyching of Black people on American soil. She said that the longstanding fight by the NAACP and other Civil Rights organizations to make lynching a federal crime paid off in the long run.

"Even though it took a staggering 122 years to finally make lynching a federal crime," the vice president said regarding the Emmett Till Anti-Lynching Act, a landmark federal law passed by Congress in March and President Biden's signature legislation. "But, it must be said, even though it took that long, the NAACP was never deterred and was always determined."

Harris was at ease at the NAACP event before the same organizational leaders who had championed her run for vice president in 2020 after pressuring President Biden to make due on his campaign promise to invite a Black woman to run on his presidential ticket as vice president. And Biden did just that, selecting Harris from among a cadre of qualified Black women vice presidential hopefuls, including former Atlanta Mayor Keesha Lance Bottoms, who is now a senior advisor to the president, former California congresswoman Karen Bass, and former U.S. national security advisor and prior ambassador to the United Nations Susan Rice.

The vice president concluded her speech by telling the convention delegates that while much has been accomplished for Black people, there is much more work that needs to be done.

"So leaders of the NAACP, together we have accomplished much, but we still have much to do," Vice President she said.

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.

 


Last Updated on Sunday, 31 July 2022 07:35

Dettelbach confirmed: U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown and Ohio Congresswoman Shontel Brown applaud the U.S. Senate's confirmation of Steve Dettlelbach to head the ATF, formerly known as the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives

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Pictured are Steve Dettelbach (wearing gray suit), the newly confirmed director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF), Ohio 11th Congressional District Congresswoman Shontel M. Brown, and U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown of Cleveland

WASHINGTON, D.C - U.S. Sen Sherrod Brown of Cleveland and U.S. Rep. Shontel M. Brown (OH-11), a Warrensville Hts. Democrat whose largely Black 11th Congressional district in Ohio includes Cleveland and several of its eastern suburbs of Cuyahoga County, issued statements after the U.S. Senate last week confirmed Steve Dettelbach as the director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF)

A Cleveland native, Dettelbach's 48-46 confirmation by the Senate makes him only the second Senate-confirmed director in the gun regulatory agency’s history. Republicans Rob Portman, an Ohioan who is retiring at the end of the year and did not seek reelection this year, and Susan Collins of Maine joined Democrats, including Sherrod Brown, in voting to confirm Dettelbach.


A former district attorney for the Northern District of Ohio in Cleveland, he was the Democratic party’s nominee for Ohio attorney general in 2018.

“Steve Dettelbach’s confirmation as ATF Director is reassurance that the Biden administration and members of Congress are committed to designating leadership that will have the fortitude to unbiasedly serve and protect our nation, “said Rep. Brown. “Dettelbach fought faithfully for Ohioans to combat extremists, avert hate crimes in our communities, and protect religious freedoms. He is dedicated to responsible gun-ownership and safer communities, and I am certain that he will continue to hold himself as a leader who will uphold the law justly and free from political interference.”

Ohio's most influential Democrat, Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH), who spoke in support of Dettelbach’s confirmation before the Senate, released the following statement:


“There is no better person for the role than Steve Dettelbach – a son of Ohio, and a career public servant with the experience and the record to combat violent crime and keep Americans safe,” said Brown in reciting comments he made on the Senate floor before the confirmation vote. “I can think of no better way to support law enforcement, to reject hate, and to keep Americans safe from violent crime, than for the Senate to confirm Steve Dettelbach as ATF director.”

Congresswoman Shontel Brown, one of two Blacks in Congress from Ohio, added that Dettelbach "has a clear record of fighting for public safety and prosecuting cases against violent offenders including an Indiana man who attempted to burn down the largest mosque in Northwest Ohio, and a convicted arsonist who set fire to the predominantly Black First Azusa Apostolic Faith Church."

 

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.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 19 July 2022 02:45

Media coverage of FBI probe of former Cleveland councilman Basheer Jones called racist by at least one city council person....Jones is Black and has not been indicted or accused of a crime....By editor Kathy Wray Coleman of Clevelandurbannews.com

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Pictured is former Cleveland councilman Basheer Jones

Clevelandurbannews.com and Kathywraycolemanonlinenewsblog.com

By Kathy Wray Coleman, associate publisher, editor

CLEVELAND, Ohio — Former Cleveland Ward 7 Councilman Basheer Jones, who ran unsuccessfully for mayor last year instead of reelection, is under attack by the FBI and the mainstream media, a reminder of how Black elected officials are subjected to a double standard.

And it appears that the only one's shielded are the five new members of city council and new mayor Justin Bibb, Cleveland's fourth Black mayor who, like the new city council members, took office in January.

"It's racist," said one council person, who spoke on condition of anonymity "He [Jones] is a Black man and has not even been indicted and they did not give this much attention to former Ohio House Speaker Larry Householder, who was indicted and is accused of participating in a $60 million pay-to-play scheme."

A Democrat, to date Jones has not been indicted or accused of any crimes relative to the investigation, with Black leaders, including some council persons, saying that the media are hellbent on destroying him “because he is Black.”

Practically all of the coverage by the mainstream media and a few alternative media types surrounding Jones' dilemma, not an inch of it positive, is on Blacks allegedly linked to the public corruption probe, Black leaders in particular, with the outspoken Jones at the helm, and centerstage.

Jones has remained quiet, other than to endorse Republican Lee Weingart over Democratic nominee Chris Roynane earlier this week at a press conference in Hough, Jones saying that he remains a Democrat but Democrats in the county and city, both Democratic strongholds, have not done right by Hough and the city's Black community.

Cleveland City Council President Blaine Griffin, also Black, will not shut up publicly about the controversy and is fodder for widespread media coverage, every single mainstream media outlet in Cleveland on board with headline stories on Friday of Jones, 37. A pronounced Muslim, Jones is a  homegrown Cleveland kid who went on to earn a bachelor's degree at the prestigious Morehouse College in Atlanta. He then returned home to the  historic Hough neighborhood on the city's east side where he later became a councilman, and, last year, a mayoral candidate who placed fifth in a crowded non-partisan primary.

At the heart of the investigation, say sources, and according to subpoenas, is $2 million approved by the 17-member city council and secured by Jones before his council term ended from the federal American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) to NEON, and monies associated with several nonprofits as well as a list of individuals linked to the councilman during his four-year term in office.

Jones ousted attorney and former assistant county prosecutor T.J. Dow by hardly a dozen votes to win the Ward 7 council seat in 2017. Hough remains divided behind the Dow-Jones race for the seat in 2017 with Stephanie Howse, a former state representative who ;ost the seat to Dow, succeeding Jones, after he opted to run for mayor last year and not reelection.

City lawyers answered a federal grand jury subpoena seeking records on a number of nonprofits, organizations and individuals with ties to Jones, and the FBI is in hot pursuit of others close to the former councilman, including one of his babies' mamas, Mecca East. Campaign monies from the run by Jones for mayor, and how they were distributed, are also part of the ongoing FBI probe.

An FBI subpoena also went out to King Management, a development consultant, and the Famicos Foundation, a nonprofit that works on redevelopment projects on the city’s east side. The Real Black Friday, an organization that promotes small minority businesses, was also among those subpoenaed.

This is a developing story. Stay tuned.

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.


Last Updated on Saturday, 23 July 2022 03:40

Funeral services held for Akron police shooting victim Jayland Walker with an open casket, Walker Black and gunned down by Akron police with 90 bullets....By Clevelandurbannews.com and Kathywraycolemanonlinenewsblog.com, Ohio's Black digital news leader

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Pictured is Ahron, Ohio police killing victim Jayland Walker
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.

AKRON, Ohio-Funeral services were held Wednesday afternoon in Akron, Ohio for Jayland Walker, the 25-year-old Black man whom eight Akron cops unceremoniously gunned down late last month with 90 bullets as he tried to get away from police.

Walker's homegoing celebration, which drew hundreds to an Akron theatre, included family members, community activists, Black elected officials and Civil Rights leaders from the NAACP in attendance, and it went forward with an open casket.

The day prior city officials deemed the day a day of citywide mourning for the police shooting victim.

Akron is a city some 30 miles south of Cleveland It has a population of some 200,000 people and is the hometown of NBA megastar and Los Angeles Laker LeBron James

Services began with musical performances and speeches, followed by a touching eulogy

“Jayland was a kind and gentle soul who loved to make others laugh,” said Pastor Marlon Walker. “A true family man, Jayland cheers the time he spent with his mother, sister and grandmother. He had a zeal for life and love, traveling with his beloved fiancee. He loved underground music and basketball. He was just beginning to live his life, saving money to become a successful entrepreneur with aspirations of starting a business.”

Speakers honored Walker’s life, and called for accountability for his death in the wake of nationwide protests, several arrests of protesters, and a citywide curfue, though on Wednesday there were no protests per the wishes of the family, including his sister Jada Walker, who told Good Morning America in a previous interview that the incident is "hard to just talk about."

Walker was gunned down by Akron police on June 27 at approximately 12:30 a.m. during a foot chase following a hot pursuit vehicle stop.Officers fired more than 90 bullets toward Walker. He was not carrying a weapon when killed, although a handgun was later located in his car, police said

Officers allege that Walker fired one or more shots during the preceding car chase with this handgun Police said they recovered a bullet casing from the location where a shot may have been fired, and that the casing is consistent with the type of firearm found in Walker's vehicle.


The NAACP, activists and Walker's family lawyer dispute the account by police and city officials and say he is a victim of racial profiling and excessive force like so many other Black men in America who have lost their lives to police violence.They say that the account by police of the shooting is a coverup and that Walker is no longer alive to give his side of the story. Police, they say, gunned him down because he ran from police , and he was Black.


The saga began approximately 2:30 a.m. on June 26 when a New Franklin police officer attempted to pull over Walker's car for a broken taillight and license plate bulb. The driver failed to stop and drove "at speeds approaching 50 mph" on city streets before crossing the Akron city line, at which point the pursuing officer ended the less-than-three-minute chase; officers who pursued and eventually shot Walker the next morning were aware of this incident.

Acording to the Akron Police Department, at about 12:30 a.m. on June 27, police in Akron attempted to stop Walker for an unspecified traffic violation. Walker did not stop and a chase ensued.According to the pursuing officers, gunfire came from the vehicle less than a minute into the chase. After several minutes, Walker exited the highway and the chase continued along city streets.

Eventually, Walker's car slowed down, and while the car was still moving, Walker exited from the passenger's side, wearing a ski mask, and ran towards a nearby parking lot.Officers chased Walker and attempted to stop him with a stun gun but were not successful..After about ten seconds of chasing Walker, eight police officers opened fire for six or seven seconds, shooting approximately 90 rounds.Police said that it appeared Walker was turning towards them, and they believed he was armed and "moving into a firing position".

Following the shooting, Walker was put in handcuffs by police and was found with his hands cuffed behind his back when EMTs arrived on the scene. According to police, officers attempted to administer first aid to Walker after he was shot Walker was pronounced dead at the scene.

The medical examiner observed 60 wounds on Walker's body, with some uncertainty based on entrance and exit wounds.No firearm was found on Walker's body.The Summit County Medical Examiner’s Office has ruled his death a homicide.

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.

Last Updated on Friday, 12 August 2022 03:05

Remembering the "137 shots" Cleveland police killing of two unarmed Blacks as Akron deals with the Jayland Walker "90 shots" Akron police killing.....By Cleveland activist Kathy Wray Coleman, a key organizer of nearly all of the "137 shots" anniversaries

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Pictured are "137 shots" unarmed Cleveland police fatal shooting victims Malissa Williams and Timothy Russell (pictured in goatee), and "60 shots" Ahron, Ohio police killing victim Jayland Walker

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

CLEVELAND, Ohio- 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, still haunts the two largely Black cities.

And the recent shooting by eight Akron, Ohio cops of unarmed Jayland Walker, 25, whom they gunned down with 90 bullets late last month, is a reminder of what Blacks routinely face when confronted by trigger-happy cops, regardless of the city, cops who are hellbent on gunning down unarmed Black people.

Community activists and other community members generally protest annually at Heritage Middle School on Nov 29, the anniversary date of the "137 shots," the last anniversary held on Nov 29, 2021 in the parking lot of Heritage Middle School in East Cleveland where the killings occurred and hosted by community activists and led by Cleveland activist Kathy Wray Coleman, who leads Imperial Women Coalition and Women's March Cleveland.

Nov 29, 2021  marked the nine-year anniversary of the tragic killings by Cleveland police of Williams, 30 at the time of her death, and Russell, 43, an event that 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 not wanted by the law.

Speakers at the last anniversary rally included residents of Cleveland and East Cleveland, community activists, Black elected officials, and family members of Black people erroneously gunned down by Cleveland and greater Cleveland cops and other area law enforcement types, like, for example, Cuyahoga Metropolitan Housing Authority police officers who recklessly shoot and kill young Black men. Also speaking was Scott Hawkins, who is the father of Arthur Keith, whom a CMHA police officer gunned down, as well as Issue 24 activists such as Alicia Kirkma, whose son was shot and killed by Cleveland police. Criminal justice reform activists, and women's rights and Black Lives Matter activists soke too, as did Cleveland Ward 9 Councilman Kevin Conwell, East Cleveland Councilman Ernest Smith and East Cleveland School Board Member Dr Mary Rice and Dr Bennanaye Brooks, among others.

Black on Black Crime President Alfred Porter Jr, an annual co-organizer of the event along with Coleman and seasoned activist Art McKoy, say excessive force cases in the  community, whether its East Cleveland, an impoverished Black Cleveland suburb, or Cleveland itself, still merit attention.

Other activists agree with them 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.

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."

The  last anniversary rally, held in November of 2021, also came on the heels of passage of Issue 24, a Cleveland police reform initiative overwhelmingly approved by voters in 2021 that changes the city's office of professional standards and established a citizen-dominated community review commission that has public policy making authority.  Also at the rally and vigil, activists discussed outgoing 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 newly selected city council president Blaine Griffin have both said publicly that they will support such a no chase policy and activists will hold them to their promises at the rally and vigil, organizers for Monday's anniversary gathering have said.

Community activists say they will never forget the night nearly 10 years ago when Cleveland police chased Williams and Russell 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 faced felony charges.

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 last year by the judge for a Supreme Court seat met the same opposition, O'Donnell, in turn, losing to incumbent Justice Sharon Kennedy, a Republican.

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 celebrated "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.

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 cops. 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.

Last Updated on Friday, 12 August 2022 03:07

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The annual11th Congressional District Caucus Parade is Monday, September 2

11th Congressional District Congresswoman Marcia L. Fudge, a Warrensville Heights Democrat who also chairs the Congressional Black Caucus of Blacks in Congress. waives to the crowd last year at the annual 11th Congressional District Caucus Parade.  This year's parade kicks off on Monday, September 2 on Cleveland's east side at 10:00 am from E. 149th Street and Kinsman Road and ends at Luke Easter Park where the picnic will begin. The event will be replete with political speeches and entertainment from various sources, including local musicians and bands. The well-attended caucus parade was initiated by Democrat Louis Stokes, the retired congressman before Fudge, and the tradition was furthered by the late Democratic Congresswoman Stephanie Tubbs Jones, Fudges' predecessor. Stokes was the first Black congressperson from Ohio and Tubbs Jones was the first Black congresswoman from Ohio