Thursday, February 28, 2013

Cleveland police chief to address Black community at Harvard Community Center in Ward 1 at 7 pm tonight, Feb. 28, community activists reject an invitation saying that all they want is McGrath's resignation for senseless deadly shootings of unarmed Blacks by Cleveland police, activists also voted for law director, safety director, chief city prosecutor, none of whom are Black, to resign, activists say Mayor Jackson is invited to meet with grassroots factions before they consider asking for his resignation

Cleveland Police Chief Michael McGrath

137 Bullets Cleveland Police Shooting Victim Malissa Williams

137 Bullets Cleveland Police Shooting Victim Timothy Ray  Russell

Cleveland Ward 1 Councilman Terrell Pruitt
Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson
CLEVELAND,Ohio- Cleveland Urban News.Com News Brief, and By Kathy Wray Coleman, publisher, editor-in-chief

CLEVELAND,Ohio- Cleveland Police Chief Michael McGrath, who is under fire by community activists and victims family members to resign in the wake of senseless deadly shootings of unarmed Blacks by Cleveland police, will address the Black community at the Harvard Community Center in Cleveland Ward 1 today at 7 pm.

The gathering has been called by Cleveland Ward 1 Councilman Terrell Pruitt.

McGrath will be joined by Fourth District Police Commander Deon McCaulley and Daryl W. McGinnis, the city's new fire chief, who was sworn in last month.

Last week a group of some 100 community activists leaders and family members of victims of deadly police shootings called for McGraft, Safety Director Martin Flask, Law Director Barbara Langhenry and Chief Prosecutor Victor Perez to step down at a forum sponsored by The Imperial Women at Lil Africa on Cleveland's majority Black east side. 

The family of Daniel Ficker, whom police killed in 2011, and the mother of 20-year-old aspiring rapper Kenneth Smith, whom police pulled from a car last year and shot in the head, were there and also voted for Flask, McGrath, Langhenry and Perez, none of whom are Black, and all of whom are at will appointees of Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson, to be replaced.

Activists have also turned down an invitation to speak with McGrath today saying that there is nothing else to talk about.

"Since we have called for Police Chief Michael McGrath to resign, we have nothing more to say," said Al Porter, vice president of Black on Black Crime, one of several activists groups that joined The Imperial Women, Stop Targeting Ohio's Poor, Peace in the Hood, The Oppressed People's Nation, Ohio Family Rights and other area grassroots organizations in seeking the resignation of the police chief.

At that meeting at Lil Africa on Feb 11,  which was moderated by Minister Robert "Brother Bob" Saffold, the activists did not entertain the request for Jackson, who is Black, to resign.

"This is not the forum to decide if the mayor should resign and let's be smart and not get the issues confused, " said Imperial  Women Kathy Wray Coleman at the meeting, which also included Famed Criminal Defense and Civil Rights Attorney Terry Gilbert, who represents the estate of 137 bullets unarmed Cleveland police shooting victim Timothy Ray Russell.

Russell, 43, was gunned down late last year by a group of Cleveland police officers along with Malissa Williams, 30. Neither was armed and police shot at the pair with an unprecedented 137 rounds of ammunition following a car chase that began in downtown Cleveland and ended near Heritage Middle School in the neighboring largely Black city of East Cleveland.

Jackson would be invited to address the grassroots factions before they consider asking for his resignation, activists said.

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