|The Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan,|
national leader of the Nation of Islam, who
spoke to an overflow audience in
Cleveland, Ohio on September 3 and condemned
the arbitrary killings by Cleveland police
of unarmed Black people
|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 six different editors, at the Call and Post Newspaper in Cleveland, Ohio|
(www.clevelandurbannews.com) / (www.kathywraycolemanonlinenewsblog.com
Cleveland police fatal shooting victim Malissa Williams
CLEVELAND, Ohio-The Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan (pictured) spoke to an overflow audience in Cleveland, Ohio Thursday evening, September 3, at Second Ebenezer Baptist Church on the city's largely Black east side and condemned the arbitrary killings of Black people by Cleveland police, which was the focus of his speech to members of the Nation of Islam, community activists, Black clergy, and a host others.
He did not disappoint, and he pinpointed Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson, the three-term Black mayor of the largely Black major American city, as "a beautiful mayor' whose hands are tied by a racist legal system that systematically disenfranchises the Black community and caters to White cops that gun down unarmed Blacks.
"He did what he came to do and what was expected of him," said Frances Caldwell, a local community activist and the executive director of the Cleveland African-American Museum. "His speech was profound, and Black people need to unify both politically and economically."
Jackson, who remains relatively popular and has not said publicly whether he will seek a historic fourth term next year, did not attend and has been under fire from community activists and attorneys for the Cleveland NAACP that want the mayor to take a more aggressive stance against his embattled largely White police force.
The longtime Nation of Islam leader said that the police killing in 2014 of 12-year-old Tamir Rice, which occurred last November at a public park on Cleveland's largely White west side, is inexcusable, and he demanded accountability for the Black boy's death, and said that others killed by police both locally and nationally should not die in vain.
County Prosecutor Tim McGinty, who is White and up for reelection next year, is still reviewing evidence in the Rice shooting and has said that he will decide if it is presented or not to the county grand jury for possible criminal charges.
"Nobody has the right to take your life and then deny you due process for the redress of your grievance," said Farrakhan.
"I watched that judge [Cuyahoga County Court of Common Pleas Judge John O'Donnell] with Malissa Williams and Mr. Russell, Farrakhan said, making distinct reference to the White judge's acquittal in May of Cleveland Police Officer Michael Brelo on two counts of voluntary manslaughter in the the 2012 shooting deaths of unarmed Blacks Malissa Williams, 30, and Timothy Russell, 43.
Following a high speed car chase that began in downtown Cleveland and ended in a middle school parking lot in neighboring East Cleveland, a majority Black Cleveland suburb, Brelo fired 49 shots into the windshield of the car Russell was driving where Williams was a passenger.
The other 12-non Black Cleveland police officers that fired the remainder of the 137 shots escaped prosecution and, like Brelo, are now facing internal disciplinary charges.
Brelo's lawyers argued at trial that he thought his life was in danger, the same argument the other 12 cops that did the shooting gave in testimony before the county grand jury that refused to indict them on criminal charges.
The car backfired, say police, and the chase was initiated by a cop that thought it was gun fire coming from Russell and Williams.
No gun was found at the deadly scene.
"Shot at a vehicle 137 times," said Farrakhan. "That is a hell of a lot of shooting."
Farrakhan said that police are supposed to be marksmen and allegedly knew what they were doing when they targeted Williams and Russell for the kill, and that "when you go to hunt a deer, when you get him in your site you know exactly where to put the bullet."
Organizers of Thursday's gathering in Cleveland turned the mainstream media away at the door, including a reporter and her crew from the television station Nineteen Action News, and Fox 8 News, which took camp outside to interview people coming and leaving.
The controversial speech, where the articulate Farrakhan, a masterful speaker with a sharp tongue, called for a national boycott of Black Sunday and the entire Christmas season, and to take the system down, was timely. It precedes a 'Justice of Else' rally he will lead in Washington, D.C. on October 10, the 20th anniversary celebration march of the Million Man March.