|U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch|
By Kathy Wray Coleman, editor-in-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. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org. Coleman is a 22-year political, legal and investigative journalist who trained for 17 years, and under five different editors, at the Call and Post Newspaper in Cleveland, Ohio. (www.clevelandurbannews.com) / (www.kathywraycolemanonlinenewsblog.com).
|Cleveland NAACP Attorney James Hardiman|
In the matter of United States v. City of Cleveland (1:15-cv-1046) officials representing Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson and representatives for Lynch negotiated the consent decree under court oversight and following findings last year by the DOJ of systemic problems in the city's largely White Cleveland Police Department. Those scathing findings include a pattern of illegal excessive force killings, vicious pistil whippings of innocent women and children, and cruel and unusual punishment against the mentally ill.
Lynch said, via a court filing Wednesday on behalf of her office by First Assistant U.S. Attorney Carole Rendon, that everything cannot be included, and no changes in the consent decree "are warranted."
|Chief Federal District Court Judge Solomon Oliver|
Chief Federal District Court Judge Solomon Oliver, who approved the consent decree on June 12, will decide if any changes to the settlement between the city and the DOJ will come.
Cleveland Civil Rights attorney James Hardiman, co-chair of the Criminal Justice Legal Redress Committee of the Cleveland branch of the NAACP, said last week that the consent decree has "unworkable stipulations that must be remedied."
|Cleveland NAACP President The Rev. Hilton Smith|
Also in the mix is National NAACP President Cornell William Brooks, who has stalled the branch election for officers and the executive committee that was initially scheduled for late last year per the organization bylaws.
|National NAACP President|
Cornell William Brooks
Smith has been mum on the consent decree issue as Hardiman, who represented the branch relative to the now defunct Cleveland schools desegregation court order, which was dissolved in 1998, has taken the lead in the controversial matter. And Hardiman, also a criminal defense lawyer and former interim branch president, is a fighter, which could bring prolonged litigation that Lynch said in her response brief is unnecessary.
|District Attorney Steve Dettelbach|
Among the changes requested are an inspector general that does not report to Cleveland Police Chief Calvin Williams, who is Black, the barring of police from policing themselves, particularly in deadly excessive force cases, a stronger community policing commission committed to biased free policing, and the removal of blanket testimony immunity for cops relative to monitoring measures under the consent decree at hand.
The fight over the consent decree comes on the heels of what community activists say is a racist verdict issued in May by Cuyahoga County Court of Common Pleas Judge John O'Donnell that acquitted White Cleveland police officer Michael Brelo of two counts of voluntary manslaughter. Racial unrest followed, and 71 protesters were arrested.
|Cleveland Police Chief Calvin Williams|
|Cuyahoga County Court |
of Common Pleas Judge
|Cleveland police officer Michael Brelo|
|Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Tim McGinty|
Other high profile Cleveland police murder cases include Tanisha Anderson, 12-year-old Tamir Rice, Daniel Ficker, and Kenneth Smith.
(www.clevelandurbannews.com) / (www.kathywraycolemanonlinenewsblog.com).