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-As the 2013 new year takes off Cleveland Urban News.Com takes a look back at some of the most memorable moments of 2012 that impacted the national political scene, Ohio, and the greater Cleveland community, all from a Black and urban perspective.
|United States President Barack Obama|
|Ohio State Senator Nina Turner (D-25)|
|Cleveland Ward 5 Councilwoman Phyllis Cleveland|
|Cleveland Ward 6 Councilwoman Mamie Mitchell|
2. A sharply divided U.S. Supreme Court, led by conservative Chief Justice John Roberts, upholds The Affordable Care Act, president Obama's sweeping heathcare reform agenda that was adopted into law by congress in 2010. On this issue, history will show that President Obama has accomplished what no U.S. president before him could do, including presidents Roosevelt and Clinton.
3. Unarmed Black teen Trayvon Martin (pictured on rt.)) is gunned down by neo-community watchman George Zimmerman (pictured on lt..) in a Florida suburb and Zimmerman, who is White, is not charged criminally until national protests led by the Rev. Al Sharpton and National NAACP President Ben Jealous erupt with claims of racism and selective prosecution.
4. Gun violence in public schools claims the lives of three Chardon High School students by accused student gunman T.J. Lane (pictured) and 20 first graders and six female educators are gunned downed at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newton, Conn. by suspected 30-year-old shooter Adam Lanza (pictured below), who then turned a gun on himself.
5. On Nov. 29 unarmed Malissa Williams (pictured), 30, and Timothy Ray Russell (pictured), 43, both Black, are gunned down by a group of White Cleveland police officers after a car chase that begins in Cleveland and ends in the neighboring city of East Cleveland. Police shoot up the car with 137 rounds of ammunition, a shooting called "a good shooting" by Cleveland police union leaders and racist by the victims families. The Cleveland NAACP, community activists, Ohio Congresswoman Marcia L. Fudge, East Ceveland Mayor Gary Norton and prominent Cleveland area ministers and the Rev. Dr. Jawanza Colvin, senior pastor of Olivet Institutional Baptist Church in Cleveland, have called for the FBI to take full control over the investigations around the deadly shootings to ensure due process protections for Russell and Williams. The tragedy has caused racial unrest in the predominantly Black major metropolitan city of Cleveland, a municipality of some 400,000 people.
7. American teen Gabby Douglas (pictured) becomes the first African-American to win all around and team competitions in gymnastics at the 2012 Olympic Games in London, England.
8. In a 16-page opinion written by Ohio Eighth District Court of Appeals Judge Patricia Ann Blackmon (pictured), a three-judge- panel of the appellate court of Cuyahoga County rules that a city ordinance pushed by Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson and adopted by the 19-member Cleveland City Council that precluded protests on Public Square in downtown Cleveland without a permit an unconstitutional violation of freedom of speech and assembly under the First Amendment of the United States Constitution. The free speech win by Occupy Cleveland is bittersweet as four former members were sentenced to prison terms ranging from 6 to 11.5 years by federal judge David Dowd after pleading guilty to a foiled plot to bomb a bridge between Akron and Cleveland, Oh. with dummy explosives provided by an FBI informant that found them housing and gave them fed them food and drugs.
9. The uppercut RTA bus incident goes viral after since fired RTA bus Driver Artis Hughes sucker punches passenger Shidea Lane and tosses her from the bus following a heated argument between the two.
10. After a manhunt through greater Cleveland neighborhoods with community activists and city and law enforcement officials and police the lifeless body of three-year-old Emilliano Terry (pictured) of Cleveland is found wrapped in a garbage bag in an Oakwood, OH landfill and his 20-year-old mother is in jail on a $2 million bond facing aggravated murder and other charges. Cuyahoga County Children and Family Services officials ignored the the young single mother's repeated cries for help, data show.
11. After convictions on more than 27 counts of corruption- related crimes, including racketeering , former Cuyahoga County Commissioner and prior Cuyahoga County Democratic Party Chairman Jimmy Dimora (pictured) is sentenced to 28 years in prison by federal district court judge Sara Lioi of Akron, a sentence deemed unfair and prejudicial by greater Cleveland area community activists. Dimora is among some 50 Cuyhoga County Democratic Party affiliates, including two former Cuyahoga County Court of Common Pleas judges, that have either pleaded guilty or have been convicted of malfeasance in office following a widespread county corruption probe initiated by the FBI than began four years ago. Many convictions came with the help of former county auditor turned-snitch Frank Russo, though claims of bias surfaced since Republicans were sparred and the Cleveland Plain Dealer Newspaper, Ohio's largest, was accused of targeting the county Democratic party for the benefit of Republicans. The newspaper contends that it was just doing its job in exposing corrupt politicians of Cuyahoga County, Ohio's largest county and one of 88 counties statewide.
13. Cleveland area community activists and Black elected officials remember the 11 Black women murdered and dismembered on Imperial Ave by since convicted serial killer Anthony Sowell (pictured below) at a rally and vigil on Imperial Ave. Sowell's case is on appeal and he is on death roll.
14. Ohio State Sen. Shirley Smith (pictured) (D-22) , with help from Gov. John Kasich, wins approval by the Republican controlled Ohio State Legislature of a bill, now a state law, that permits an Ohio trial court judge to expunge either two non-violent misdemeanors convictions or a misdemeanor and a non-violent felony conviction. Data show that Blacks and other minorities often lack resources to defend against frivolous criminal prosecutions and a study commissioned by the Cleveland NAACP found that Cuyahoga County Court of Common Pleas general division judges, now led by chief judge Nancy Fuerst, collectively give harsher sentences to Blacks in comparison to their similarly situated White counterparts.
15. Ohio Congresswoman Marcia L. Fudge (D-11) is elected chair of the Congressional Black Caucus. (A Warrrensville Hts. Democrat, Fudge was elected the 123rd chairperson of the 43-member Congressional Black Caucus by a unanimous vote of her peers.
She is the only Black congressperson from Ohio. Her 11th congressional district includes the predominantly Black east side Cleveland and its eastern suburbs of Cuyahoga County and a part of Akron and staggering parts of its Summit County suburbs. Fudge has said that she is honored to have been chosen by her colleagues to lead the prestigious organization).
16. Congress reaches a deal to avoid the fiscal cliff, a financial crisis measure that increases taxes by automatically eliminating tax cuts and induces radical spending cuts unless Congress reaches a deficit reduction deal by the end of the year
|Democratic United States President Barack Obama|
17. President Barack Obama announces his support of gay marriage with support from gay rights and Civil rights groups across the country, including the National NAACP, which is led by Ben Jealous (pictured), the current president of the Civil Rights group and a Rhodes Scholar. History will show that President Obama is the first U.S. president to publicly voice support on the gay marriage issue.
18. Hurricane Sandy devastates the Mid-Atlantic and Northeastern parts of the U.S. causing power outages and deaths across the nation (From Maine to Delaware and New York to West Virginia nature's sweeping attack on America's homelands through a hurricane 700 miles wide that came packing robust wind and rain, Hurricane Sandy caused airlines to cancel an estimated 13,000 flights and has aroused America in what meteorologists are calling "the perfect storm and a once-in--a-life-time weather disaster". Some greater Cleveland residents experienced power outages too, some lasting as long as a week).
20. Cuyahoga County voters elect controversial former county common pleas judge Tim McGinty , 61, as county prosecutor after Bill Mason (pictured below), 53, who was county prosecutor since 1999, chose not to seek a third four-year term and took a job with the Columbus- based law firm of Bricker and Eckler.
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