By Kathy Wray Coleman, editor-n-chief, Cleveland Urban News. Com and The Cleveland Urban News.Com Blog, Ohio's Most Read Online Black Newspaper and Newspaper Blog, Tel: (216) 659-0473
Kathy Wray Coleman is a community activist and 20 year investigative journalist who trained for 17 years at the Call and Post Newspaper in Cleveland, Ohio. (www.clevelandurbannews.com) / (www.kathywraycolemanonlinenewsblog.com)
|Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Tim McGinty|
"It was murder," said Abdul Quahhar, chairman of the Cleveland Chapter New Black Panther Party.
David Patterson, vice president of the Carl Stokes Brigade, said that McGinty is running the grand jury and it has to stop.
Community Activist Norma Freeman passed out petitions
seeking signatures for the requested police firings as activists spoke and urged the audience not to just target Jackson, who is Black, while leaving McGinty, who is White, alone.
"Don't give this White man a free pass," one activist said after urging Community Activist Don Freeman to stay clear of just targeting Jackson while protecting McGinty due to intra-group hostility, a term used when Blacks attack one another but are afraid to get similarly situated White people, a by-product of racism
"This is an atrocity," said East Cleveland Councilman at Large Nate Martin, likely the most outspoken of the five-member East Cleveland City Council.
Other public officials there include East Cleveland Ward 4 Councilman Mansell Baker and East Cleveland Library Board Trustee William Fambrough, who gave a presentation around the deadly shooting.
The activists groups also agreed that they will not change their names to one unknown to the community, and will continue under the individual grassroots groups names since many of the groups have been out front since the onset of the controversial issue.
The unprecedented fatal shooting followed a high speed car chase that began in downtown Cleveland and ended in the parking lot of Heritage Middle School in neighboring East Cleveland the night of Nov. 29, 2012. Both Cleveland and East Cleveland are predominantly Black cities .
A Cuyahoga County Grand Jury last month handed down an indictment on two counts of voluntary manslaughter against one of 13 non- Black Cleveland police officers that gunned down Williams and Russell , a celebrated tragedy that has heightened racial unrest in the two cities.
Prosecutors had sought a two-count murder indictment for Patrolman Michael Brelo, among other charges, but the grand jury opted for the lesser charge of manslaughter. The case is before Cuyahoga County Court of Common Pleas Judge John O'Donnell and Brelo has pleaded not guilty.
McGinty told reporters during a press conference on the grand jury indictments that his office did not recommend any charges against the 12 officers that escaped indictments. That posture has upset the community activists that are demanding that another grand jury convene.
Some community members and community activists called the grand jury decision and McGinty's refusal to seek charges against the 12 police officers at issue unjust, racist and outright shameful.
Brelo was the lone Cleveland police patrolman charged. He
jumped aboard the hood of the 1979 Chevy Malibu driven by Russell and fired 49 shots through the windshield.
No gun was found at the deadly scene.
Also charged by the county grand jury were five White police supervisors, but on second degree misdemeanor charges of dereliction of duty. They have all pleaded not guilty.
All 12 police officers that got off still face possible disciplinary charges, said Cleveland Police Chief Calvin Williams at a press conference after the grand jury indictments came down.
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