From the Metro Desk of Cleveland Urban News.Com and The Kathy Wray Coleman Online News Blog.Com, Ohio's No 1 and No 2 online Black news venues (www.clevelandurbannews.com)
|Cleveland Branch NAACP President|
The Rev. Hilton Smith
CLEVELAND, Ohio- The Imperial Women and other community activists groups, and families of people gunned down by Cleveland police or whose loved ones, Black women in particular, have been murdered or raped in the city this year, will hold a press conference on Wednesday, April 24 at 5:15 pm at the Chateau Mansion in East Cleveland, 13124 Euclid Ave.
They are gathering on recent pressing issues in greater Cleveland's Black community such as Cleveland police killings of unarmed people, deadly force, murder and rape of Black women, rampant judicial malfeasance, and alleged foreclosure impropriety in Cuyahoga County. And at 5:30 pm Cleveland NAACP President The Rev. Hilton Smith will join them for a community meeting. (Editor's note. The Rev David Hunter, senior pastor at Bright Star Missionary Baptist Church in East Cleveland and the chair of the Cleveland NAACP Housing Committee, is expected to attend the meeting too, one that activists say is also an attempt to bridge the gap between the Black elite and the grassroots community to deal with community crisis issues that Blacks and others are now facing on a routine basis and that seem to require a unified approach).
Activists cancelled the picket at the Cleveland offices of the Cleveland NAACP previously scheduled for April 25 that was set because its legal redress committee has not had a group meeting this year but has promised repeatedly through Chairperson Una Keenon to meet with community activists and family members of victims of deadly police shootings. Instead, the activists have opted to accept an invitation from Smith (pictured) for a meeting. (For more information contact The Imperial Women at 216-659-0473 or call The Cleveland NAACP branch office at 216-231-6260). Pizza and refreshments will be served to the first 80 people.
"I want to meet with the community, The Imperial Women and the community activists and I will be there," said Smith, who was elected president of the local chapter of the nation's most prominent Civil Rights institution last year behind longtime president George Forbes, a former Cleveland City Council president.
A part time Cleveland attorney and general counsel for the Call and Post Newspaper Forbes, say activists, and his self-serving cronies at the Cleveland NAACP, would often not even let poor people and Blacks that needed help or have taken on the establishment against serial murders of Black women, judicial impropriety, police misconduct and other matters into the building for assistance. (Editor's note: Data show that when people would seek help from the Cleveland NAACP for complaints such as alleged racism by The University of Akron, the complaint would often be ignored and then the entity would buy advertising from the still failing Call and Post, a Black Cleveland weekly owned by boxing promoter Don King. And if the person complained to authorities the Cuyahoga County prosecutor's office, with approval from former county prosecutor Bill Mason and now current county prosecutor Tim McGinty, would have a White county employee defame them on the Internet, and call them nigger, also on the Internet, for Forbes and the entities allegedly committing the racism. Some race discrimination complainants, data show, would be maliciously prosecuted by the cities of Cleveland, Shaker Hts, Mayfield Hts, Berea, or Bedford Hts. and other Cuyahoga County cities at the hands of corrupt city prosecutors and law directors and White and Black Democratic judge friends to Forbes and Call and Post affiliates).
Activists said that the meeting with Smith is open to the public, though police are not invited onto the private property at the Chateau Mansion. They say that they want people to be able to be frank in discussions on police and others and to have the opportunity to voice those concerns without police intimidation and harassment, something they say often occurs with Cleveland police, complements of Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson they say, who is Black and seeking a third four year mayoral term this year.
"We are most appreciative of the upcoming meeting with Rev. Smith and we prayed that things would change since Mr. George L. Forbes ran the Cleveland Chapter NAACP to do in Blacks for the establishment and for his own personal gain," said Kathy Wray Coleman, who leads The Imperial Women. "Family members of unarmed people killed by police and the grieving children of Black women recently raped and murdered with their rapists and killers still on the loose are among the speakers at the meeting where refreshments will be served."
Coleman said that among other issues at the upcoming meeting activists will discuss rampant judicial unfairness, education, foreclosure impropriety by Cuyahoga County officials, judges, magistrates and the sheriff's office, deadly Cleveland police shootings, and the recent murders and rape of Black women on Cleveland's predominantly Black east side such as Jazmine Trotter, 20, and Christine Malone, 45.
Other speakers or attendees for the April 24 meeting include Cleveland Attorney Terry Gilbert (who represents several families whose love ones have been gunned down by Cleveland police while unarmed including Timothy Russell, Daniel Ficker and Kenneth Smith), Cleveland Ward 6 Councilwoman Mamie Mitchell, East Cleveland Councilman Nate Martin, East Cleveland Senior Spokesperson Charles E. Bibb Sr., Minister Robert "Brother Bob" Saffold, Community Affiliate Kimberly F. Brown, Community Activists Khalid Samad of Peace in the Hood, Chateau Mansion Owner Betty Mahone of the Federation of Women, Attorney Edele Passalacqua, Denise Taylor of Black on Black Crime Inc. and The Cleveland Chapter of The New Black Panther Party, Entrepreneur Michael Nelson, Kathy Wray Coleman of The Imperial Women, Frances Caldwell of The Cleveland African-American Museum and The Imperial Women, Al Porter of Black on Black Crime Inc., Mary Keith of Ohio Communities United, Amy Hurd, Dionne Thomas Carmichael, Donnie Pastard, Ada Averyhart (all four of the Carl Stokes Brigade), A Representative of The Cleveland Black Contractor's Group, Roz McAllister of Ohio Family Rights, The Imperial Women, and The National Organization for Parental Equality, Betty Simpson of The Imperial Women, Mary Seawright of the Imperial Women, Willie Stokes of The Imperial Women, Valerie Robinson of Stop Targeting Ohio's Poor and The Imperial Women, Dr. Stewart Robinson of Stop Targeting Ohio's Poor and The Imperial Women, Ernest Smith of The Oppressed People's Nation, and Donna Walker Brown.
Smith is a vice president for Turner Construction Co. in Cleveland and an associate minister at Greater Abyssinia Baptist Church in Cleveland where the Rev. E. Theophilus Caviness, the first vice president of the Cleveland NAACP, is senior pastor.
Some 80 community activists met with Cleveland NAACP Legal Redress Committee Chairwoman Keenon, a retired East Cleveland Municipal Court judge, and Ohio ACLU Legal Director James Hardiman at a community forum on Feb 4 and then attended the regular Cleveland NAACP meeting held in March. Activist groups represented at both meetings include The Imperial Women, Stop Targeting Ohio's Poor, The Cleveland African American Museum, The Oppressed People's Nation, Organize Ohio, The Northeast Ohio Poor People's Economic Human Rights Campaign, The Cleveland Chapter of the New Black Panther Party, The Cleveland Black Contractors Group, The People's Forum, The Greater Cleveland Immigrant Support Network, Peace in the Hood, Ohio Family Rights, The National Organization for Parental Equality, The Carl Stokes Brigade and Black on Black Crime Inc.
At the March regular Cleveland NAACP meeting activists again sought help on issues ranging from documented foreclosure fraud by judges, magistrates and since fired county sheriff Bob Reid, jobs and judicial impropriety, to deadly shootings by Cleveland police of unarmed people including 137 bullets victims Malissa Williams and Timothy Russell (both pictured abovel, Daniel Ficker, 27 and Kenneth Smith, 20.
Attorney Terry Gilbert, who represents the families of Russell, Ficker and Smith, attended the March meeting with community activists and so did family members of Williams, Ficker and Smith, among others.
Since the meetings the FEDS have come to Cleveland to investigate malfeasance and systemic problems in the Cleveland Police Department
Smith, said Coleman, promised to help the community activists and told them and shootings victims families at the March regular meeting of the Cleveland NAACP that assistance was coming.
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