|Malissa Williams and Timothy Russell|
By Kathy Wray Coleman, editor-in-chief, Cleveland Urban News.Com and The Kathy Wray Coleman Online News Blog.Com, Ohio's No 1 and No 2 online Black newspapers (www.clevelandurbannews.com) Reach Cleveland Urban News.Com by email at email@example.com and by phone at 216-659-0473
|Ward 9 Councilman |
|Cleveland Police Chief|
|Ward 8 Councilman |
During a heated community forum last Thursday at the Glenville YMCA on safety with Chief McGrath and sponsored by Conwell, who chairs city council's safety committee, Johnson became irate and snatched the mike from Community Activist Don Bryant, who leads the Greater Cleveland Immigrant Support Network.
Bryant wanted to ask a question around the shooting, an issue that he has become passionate about, and Johnson had decided that enough questions had been asked on the subject by activists, and sought to quell Bryant's free speech, activity that has seemingly backfired.
|Cuyahoga County Prosecutor|
A seasoned community organizer who is White and 57 years old , and supported by a coalition of activist groups across racial lines such as Black on Black Crime, the Oppressed People's Nation, the Imperial Women and Peace in the Hood, Bryant filed a police report against Johnson saying that Johnson committed misdemeanor assault when he allegedly hit his wrist after snatching the mike.
On Friday Johnson, in turn, took on the matter on a local radio show on WERE AM and accused Bryant, in an on air dispute by the two, of being a "White man coming into the Black community."
Johnson was also angry after community activists hounded him and Conwell at Thursday's forum for pushing a city ordinance that Conwell introduced and was passed by city council two weeks ago that puts 42 more traffic cameras at street intersections throughout Cleveland, an abundance of them in poor communities on the city's largely Black east side.
Whether anything will materialize of Bryant's police report against Johnson, who is not without support either, remains to be seen, and is unlikely, given the mayor's control over the prosecutorial process through his handpicked law director. But one thing is clear, community activists are not backing down around the celebrated shooting.
"Councilman Johnson must have forgotten that community activists fought for him when he got in trouble as a state senator and now he is turning his back on us to support police that have done wrong," said Community Activist Amy Hurd, who is among a coalition of activists and community affiliates still upset over the celebrated shooting.
But is there enough anger around the shooting to generate changes in public policy for the betterment of the Black community, or even criminal charges against the police officers that gunned down two innocent and unarmed Black people, one a Black woman 30 years old and in the prime of her life, and the other a Black man, 43?
|U.S. District Attorney|
To complicate matters further, residents and community activists that attended a forum at Olivet Institutional Baptist Church Tuesday evening were told by the FEDS, through U.S. District Attorney for the Northern District of Ohio Steve Dettelbach, that though the U.S. Justice Department had been sent in partly because of the shooting and systemic problems in the predominantly Black city's majority White Cleveland Police Department that their authority is limited.
Donna Walker Brown
"I was told when I asked at the meeting with the FEDS at Olivet tonight for them to takeover the Cleveland Police Department that they have no such authority and that community must work with groups to make the changes," said Community Activist Donna Walker Brown, also a candidate for Cleveland City Council Ward 10.