By Kathy Wray Coleman, Publisher, Editor-n-Chief, Cleveland Urban News. Com and The Cleveland Urban News.Com Blog, Ohio's Most Read Online Black Newspaper(www.clevelandurbannews.com)
CLEVELAND,Ohio-Cleveland City Hall Community Relations Board Director Blaine Griffin will host a community forum on the 137 bullets-Bonnie-and-Clyde-type- shooting last week by Cleveland police of unarmed Blacks victims Malissa Williams and Timothy Ray Russell, whom they chased by car from the Cuyahoga County Justice Center in Cleveland to East Cleveland, at 6 pm today, Dec. 6, at Greater Abyssinia Baptist Church in Cleveland, 1161 E. 105th St. (For more information contact Greater Abyssinia Baptist Church at 216-795-8142).
"We will takes questions from the community and people can speak and will be treated fairly," said Blaine Griffin, director of the Community Relations Board for the City of Cleveland and the second vice president of the Cuyahoga County Democratic Party.
Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson, who is Black, has said that justice will prevail in the case and has called for a thorough investigation, though he said also that since the deadly car chase ended in East Cleveland, that were an investigation on whether unnecessary force was used shall occur.
Cleveland is a majority Black major metropolitan city of some 400,000 people, though the appointed positions of law director, safety director, chief of police, chief city prosecutor, EMS commissioner and chief of staff are all held by non- Blacks and mainly White men. And the majority Black Cleveland Municipal School District, led by the city mayor, is led by Cleveland schools CEO Eric Jordan, a White man too.
Community activists said that they will be there for the meeting this evening in droves.
"We will be there," said Art McKoy , who leads Black on Black Crime Inc and has held protests over the shootings with other community activists and family members of Williams, 30, and Russell, 43. "In the 30s the posse went on a car chase of armed robbers Bonnie an Clyde and fired 50 rounds and in Cleveland police chased unarmed Malissa Williams and Timothy Ray Russell who were not wanted, surrounded the car, and shot 137 rounds and they are still counting."
Some 30 police cars, 13 from Cleveland, were involved in a 25 minute police chase from the Cuyahoga County Justice Center in Cleveland of the car Russell was driving with Williams as a passenger that went into East Cleveland by Heritage Middle School at Wymore and Terrace Ave with 137 bullets into the car.
A county corner said that Williams was shot 22 times and Russell 23 times.
Cleveland police have said that police allegedly heard either a gunshot or a car muffler backfire. The unprecedented shooting has outraged the Black community and family members of the two victims that were not wanted by the law but have criminal histories. No gun or gun shell casings were found in or near the car police said, heightening the tension around the incident as Jeffrey Follmer, president of the Cleveland Police Patolmen's Association, said the shootings were good shootings in a televised public statement to reporters.
"First it was the murders of 11 Black women on Imperial Avenue in Cleveland by a serial killer and now this," said Community Activist and Cleveland Mayoral Candidate Donna Walker Brown at a rally on Monday over the celebrated shootings. "We need Frank Jackson and Cleveland City Councilman Kevin Conwell, who is over the safety committee for city council, to stand up on this issue."
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