Journalists should stop misidentifying “warrantless pursuits” as “police chases”

CLEVELAND, OH – Journalists must stop describing warrantless pursuits as “police chases” because it creates public confusion about the “legal” definitions of the criminal acts that are associated with them.  Warrantless pursuits are not video games.  Life isn’t “Grand Theft Auto.”  It’s the same with words like “carjacking.”  No such words exist in the Ohio Revised Code as a criminal offense.  

The word “carjacking” is a media-created expression that does not exist anywhere in the Ohio Revised Code.

What occurred on private property owned by the Target Corporation was the “theft” of an automobile by “force” which made it an “aggravated robbery.”  The individual who took the vehicle by force  was not “authorized to use it” which is the element of the offense of “unauthorized use of vehicle.”  The person who called 9-1-1 was an employee of Target department store.  It doesn’t matter if he also held employment as a municipal police officer.  He was on Target’s payroll in his Chevy Silverado on the corporation’s property when he witnessed individuals gain authorized possession of another person’s property.

In the effort to hype stories reporters use words that do not resemble the legal terms connected to the criminal acts that are explained to the public in the form of news.  When the public confronts officials using the legal terms associated with the acts they don’t compare to the inflammatory words reporters use.  It creates a disconnect between what the publicrreads, sees and hears in the media and how crimes are described in laws.

Ohio’s General Assembly solved the warrantless pursuit problem when R.C. 2935.03 took effect on January 1, 2003.    The heading is “Authority to arrest without warrant – pursuit outside jurisdiction.

Every act called a “police chase” is a “warrantless pursuit” in legal terms. Reporters should stop misidentifying the legal term and the apply the act to the laws that already exist. No new laws or policies are needed. The state resolved the problem in 2003. Mayors aren’t enforcing the law.

R.C. 2935.03 instructs every category of law enforcement officer in the state when they have the authority to pursue a person who has violated specifically-identified offenses in the Revised Code.  If journalists, attorneys representing victims and federal prosecutors specifically would read R.C. 2935.03(A)(1) they would know Ohio’s General Assembly did not grant law enforcement officers “only” the authority to pursue for every offense.  The authority to pursue does not extend in any way to private security guards Target employs.  It also doesn’t extend to every law enforcement officer.  

Since 2003 the General Assembly of Ohio has required every mayor to adopt a pursuit policy that complies with R.C. 2935.03.  Any mayor or safety director who did not adopt a “warrantless pursuit” policy and instruct police on it is criminally-engaged in “dereliction of duty” pursuant to R.C. 2921.44(E) because the law is a “duty imposed upon the office.” 

So at the moment his chief of police is investigating Mayor Frank Jackson is supposed to be learning if R.C. 2935.03 was obeyed by the law enforcement officers he supervises.  Since 2003 every mayor, including Jackson, has been instructed by R.C. 2935.031 to perform the following “mandatory” duty because of the General Assembly’s use of the word “shall.”  If he’s not and didn’t Jackson’s engaged in “dereliction of duty.”

“The chief law enforcement officer or other chief official of the agency, instrumentality, or political subdivision shall formally advise each peace officer or other person with arrest authority it employs of the pursuit policy adopted by that agency, instrumentality, or political subdivision pursuant to this section.”

East Cleveland residents will recall this writer firing police officer Todd Carroscia for a pursuit into Cleveland that injured Charles Hunt and a passenger in 2008.  A cross-claimed was filed against Carroscia to protect the city when Hunt’s attorney filed for damages because his pursuit violated my policy and R.C. 2935.03.  I had already instructed Ralph Spotts in his official capacity as East Cleveland’s chief of police to alert every police chief in the county that their law enforcement officers would be arrested if they violated R.C. 2935.03 in East Cleveland.

Tamia Chapman’s mother should ask President Donald Trump’s U.S. Attorney, William Barr, to finish what Jeffrey Sessions started when he decided no more consent decrees; and to use the 1994 Violent Crime and Law Enforcement Contract Act that upgraded 18 U.S.C. 241 and 242 from misdemeanors to felonies. The death penalty was added for cops who cause the death of a citizen whose rights were violated under the color of law. Worse for the conspiracy Calvin Williams leads police to engage in. It’s a damn shame a Black President had to send a Black attorney general to a predominantly Black city to tell a Black mayor and police chief they had racists terrorizing their people.

I informed mayors at the Cuyahoga County Mayors & City Managers Association meeting of my intent to arrest and prosecute their police officers for entering my city’s borders unlawfully.  During Cleveland’s debate at the City Club, attending reporters know I informed former Pepper Pike Mayor Bruce Akers that I’d attend the meetings Jackson didn’t; and I’d instruct the mayors, again, that their police officers would be arrested if they entered Cleveland’s borders in violation of R.C. 2935.03’s statute’s instructions.  There’d be no deadly pursuits if mayors performed the duties of “chief law enforcement” officers like this “badge wearing” former mayor and director of public safety.

(1) A sheriff, deputy sheriff, marshal, deputy marshal, municipal police officer, township constable, police officer of a township or joint police district, member of a police force employed by a metropolitan housing authority under division (D) of section 3735.31 of the Revised Code, member of a police force employed by a regional transit authority under division (Y) of section 306.35 of the Revised Code, state university law enforcement officer appointed under section 3345.04 of the Revised Code, veterans’ home police officer appointed under section 5907.02 of the Revised Code, special police officer employed by a port authority under section 4582.04 or 4582.28 of the Revised Code, or a special police officer employed by a municipal corporation at a municipal airport, or other municipal air navigation facility, that has scheduled operations, as defined in section 119.3 of Title 14 of the Code of Federal Regulations, 14 C.F.R. 119.3, as amended, and that is required to be under a security program and is governed by aviation security rules of the transportation security administration of the United States department of transportation as provided in Parts 1542. and 1544. of Title 49 of the Code of Federal Regulations, as amended, shall arrest and detain, until a warrant can be obtained, a person found violating, within the limits of the political subdivision, metropolitan housing authority housing project, regional transit authority facilities or areas of a municipal corporation that have been agreed to by a regional transit authority and a municipal corporation located within its territorial jurisdiction, college, university, veterans’ home operated under Chapter 5907. of the Revised Code, port authority, or municipal airport or other municipal air navigation facility, in which the peace officer is appointed, employed, or elected, a law of this state, an ordinance of a municipal corporation, or a resolution of a township.

This writer fired Todd Carroscia as East Cleveland’s mayor and safety director for a warrantless pursuit of no one. He decided to join an officer who’d pursued outside the city’s jurisdiction as back up. On the way he struck Charles Hunt and a passenger. I fired him. I intended to prosecute him before voters chose another mayor in 2009. The mayor they chose rehired Carroscia and accepted the liability for his unlawful actions. He covered his crime instead of prosecuting it.

Ex-East Cleveland Mayor Gary Norton and current Mayor Brandon King should have ordered the arrests of the police officers who slaughtered Timothy Russell, Malissa Williams and caused the death of Tamia Chapman.  He had not changed my pursuit policy and Spotts in his “official capacity” as chief of police was still under order’s to follow the “mayor’s” policy whether I was the mayor or not.  Laws don’t change between mayors.

Before Facebook banned my Facebook page every veteran reporter in town knows I have called pursuits by police officers and highway patrol officers “within the municipal corporations” criminal acts.  The pursuits wouldn’t be problems if mayors read the state’s general laws and performed the duties connected to the offices they held as their municipal corporation’s “chief law enforcement officer” pursuant to R.C. 2901/01(h).  The troopers entering Cleveland should have been arrested as they have no authority inside this municipal corporation without being ordered here by the governor at the request of the mayor; the chief law enforcement officer.

So with every pursuit outside a municipal corporation two mayors are derelict; and each jurisdiction is liable for unauthorized warrantless pursuits.   Criminally-derelict non-reading mayors are the sole reason for the warrantless pursuits; and their dereliction is a criminally-chargeable offense in every unauthorized pursuit. 

Jackson’s administration was instructed by the U.S. Department of Justice in former U.S. Attorney General Eric H. Holder’s investigation that his “chief law enforcement officer’s” management of the Cleveland Division of Police could result in “up the ladder” violations of 18 U.S.C. 241 and 242.  Assistant U.S. Attorney Vanita Gupta warned that police officers, supervisors, chiefs, mayors, prosecutors and judges connected to “color of law” abuses could result in a series of “up the ladder” prosecutions until they all get the message to protect the rights of U.S. citizens and not each other.

R.C. 2935.03 has a subsection (B) that identifies the “only” offenses where a warrantless pursuit is authorized. 

(1) When there is reasonable ground to believe that an offense of violence, the offense of criminal child enticement as defined in section 2905.05 of the Revised Code, the offense of public indecency as defined in section 2907.09 of the Revised Code, the offense of domestic violence as defined in section 2919.25 of the Revised Code, the offense of violating a protection order as defined in section 2919.27 of the Revised Code, the offense of menacing by stalking as defined in section 2903.211 of the Revised Code, the offense of aggravated trespass as defined in section 2911.211 of the Revised Code, a theft offense as defined in section 2913.01 of the Revised Code, or a felony drug abuse offense as defined in section 2925.01 of the Revised Code, has been committed within the limits of the political subdivision, metropolitan housing authority housing project, regional transit authority facilities or those areas of a municipal corporation that have been agreed to by a regional transit authority and a municipal corporation located within its territorial jurisdiction, college, university, veterans’ home operated under Chapter 5907. of the Revised Code, port authority, or municipal airport or other municipal air navigation facility, in which the peace officer is appointed, employed, or elected or within the limits of the territorial jurisdiction of the peace officer, a peace officer described in division (A) of this section may arrest and detain until a warrant can be obtained any person who the peace officer has reasonable cause to believe is guilty of the violation.

There are other subsections to R.C. 2935.03 that further detail how the pursuing officer has to validate that a complaint has been filed in writing for some of the authorized pursuable offenses.  Without the written knowledge there’s no authority to pursue.

Mayor Frank Jackson and Calvin Williams should have prosecuted instead of covering every cop who violated R.C. 2935.03 when they entered East Cleveland’s borders in 2012 because a cop heard Timothy Russell’s engine backfire and created an entire murderous rampage out of nothng.. Had this writer still served as mayor there would have been federal charges generated locally and submitted to the U.S. Attorney for criminal prosecution.

So this means the “carjackings” that gets reporters excited shouldn’t get police excited.  They’re not authorized to chase for stolen vehicles, expired license plates, failing to stop, NCIC hits because the hit alone is not probable cause to arrest. East Cleveland police had no authority to pursue into Cleveland and hit 13-year-old Jaden Paolino over an expired license plate “hit.”  Shaker Heights police had no authority to cross Warrensville Heights borders into Cleveland over an alleged “speeding” violation.  

East Cleveland, Ohio cops searched the NCIC database and learned that the license plates to the car were “fictitious.” They’d expired. A $250 fine. Ohio’s warrantless pursuit law authorizes chases across borders for felonies and 1st degree misdemeanors. The East Cleveland chase was over a 5th degree misdemeanor with a $250 fine. East Cleveland cops didn’t check with the originating agency that had entered the information about the license plates to learn if the information was accurate as required by the NCIC 2000 Manual. The two cops pursued the minor misdemeanant into Cleveland and he struck 13-year-old Jadan Paolino. You’re looking at his injuries. They’re extensive. All over an illegal NCIC search and a $250 fine.

NCIC and LEADS are for the protection of the officer on the street.  The authorized street use is to check a person’s background after they’ve stopped the driver for another reason.  Even then the hit has to first be confirmed with the originating agency; and it has to be in connection with another reason  that established probable cause for the stop.  The Government Accounting Office has repeatedly advised Congress that the privacy-protected information in the FBI’s NCIC and state databases is inaccurate on half the citizens its storing records under their names, license plates, dates of birth and social security numbers.  All is explained in my coming soon in hardcover “Fight Police License Plate Spying” book.

I haven’t shared all of R.C. 2935.03 and I’m not.  Journalists who want to know further should read the statute in its entirety before their next news conference with Williams.  They shouldn’t be questioning him.  They should be questioning Jackson and East Cleveland Mayor Brandon King to see if they each complied with the instructions of R.C.  2935.031.   

A Target department store security worker in his personal vehicle, Chevy Silverado, left private property to pursue individuals without a warrant while he followed behind and called 9-1-1 without any authority to leave the property.

Do they have a policy that complies with the laws I’ve shared above?  Did they ensure each officer was made aware of it?  Why are the pursuits in violation of it not being prosecuted?  Why are police involved in pursuits being let go with “administrative” instead of “criminal” charges since violating the acts associated with violating R.C. 2935.03 are felonies?  It is a requirement of federal law that anyone with knowledge of a felony report it.  18 U.S.C. 4. Misprision of felony. 

“Whoever, having knowledge of the actual commission of a felony cognizable by a court of the United States, conceals and does not as soon as possible make known the same to some judge or other person in civil or military authority under the United States, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than three years, or both.”

The federal and state felony crimes that come from an unauthorized individual and duty-exceeding individual violating traffic laws connected to speed, signalling, lane changing, crashing through municpal borders and killing someone in a public safety vehicle are limitless. 

A death occurred.  Pursuant to 18 U.S.C. 242 a citizen’s rights were violated. The fact her color and the community she lives in experiences this type of shit routinely is a “disparate” treatment under the color of law.

“Whoever, under color of any law, statute, ordinance, regulation, or custom, willfully subjects any person in any State, Territory, Commonwealth, Possession, or District to the deprivation of any rights, privileges, or immunities secured or protected by the Constitution or laws of the United States, or to different punishments, pains, or penalties, on account of such person being an alien, or by reason of his color, or race, than are prescribed for the punishment of citizens, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than one year, or both ..  and if death results from the acts committed in violation of this section or if such acts include kidnapping or an attempt to kidnap, aggravated sexual abuse, or an attempt to commit aggravated sexual abuse, or an attempt to kill, shall be fined under this title, or imprisoned for any term of years or for life, or both, or may be sentenced to death.”

Reporters who covered Williams’ meeting with residents have video evidence of him saying it sent the wrong message to criminals if he let them get away with every crime they commit.  That’s exactly what he’s doing with the Cleveland police he’s abusing the office of chief of police to serve instead of serving the taxpayers who pay him $200,000 a year …. unlawfully.  Double dipping is temporary.  Eight months in duration and part time.  Another law Williams obstructs with his presence in the office of chief of police.

WEWS TV5 recorded, published and broadcast video of Calvin Williams admitting to residents of Cleveland that he will allow police to continue to violate R.C. 2935.03 even if it causes the death of children and other citizens because he sees more offenses than the ones authorized by law as pursuable. Williams has no authority to suspend a general law of the state. His authority as chief of police is limited to stationing and transferring police officers under the rules of the safety director as prescribed by the mayor. He can’t even administer an oath of office or sign a document as the chief law enforcement officer. He can’t even a write a regulation or policy. He can’t involve the city in organized crime task forces that are not under the direction of the Ohio attorney general. Even his presence in office is unlawful. Double dippers are part-time and 8 months and out. He should have been gone.

The only question reporters should be asking Williams is why he’s identified a Target department store security officer as a “police, EMS, fire or auxiliary” in trouble instead of arresting him for driving his Chevy Silverado off Target’s property onto a public street.  Neither he nor the individuals he called were authorized to pursue a citizen without a warrant.

The acts being examined was a “warrantless pursuit.”  Not a “police chase.”  The offense wasn’t a “carjacking.”  It was a theft and unauthorized use of vehicle offense.  The offenses the Target worker left the department store’s property for were non-pursuable.

Eric Jonathan Brewer

Cleveland's most influential journalist and East Cleveland's most successful mayor is an East Saint Louis, Illinois native whose father led the city's petition drive in 1969 to elect the first black mayor in 1971. Eric is an old-school investigative reporter whose 40-year body of editorial work has been demonstrably effective. No local journalist is feared or respected more.

Trained in newspaper publishing by the legendary Call & Post Publisher William Otis Walker in 1978 when it was the nation's 5th largest Black-owned publication, Eric has published and edited 13 local, regional and statewide publications across Ohio. Adding to his publishing and reporting resume is Eric's career in government. Eric served as the city's highest paid part-time Special Assistant to ex-Cleveland Mayor Michael R. White. He served as Chief of Staff to ex-East Cleveland Mayor Emmanuel Onunwor; and Chief of Communications to the late George James in his capacity as the Cuyahoga Metropolitan Housing Authority's first Black executive director. Eric was appointed to serve as a member of the state's Financial Planning & Supervision Commission to guide the East Cleveland school district out of fiscal emergency and $20 million deficit. Former U.S. HUD Secretary Alphonso Jackson told Eric in his D.C. office he was the only mayor in the nation simultaneously-managing a municipal block grant program. Eric wrote the city's $2.2 million Neighborhood Stabilization Program grant application. A HUD Inspector General audit of his management of the block grant program resulted in "zero" audit findings.

As a newspaper publisher, Eric has used his insider's detailed knowledge of government and his publications to lead the FBI and state prosecutors to investigations that resulted in criminal prosecutions of well-known elected officials in Ohio; and have helped realign Cleveland's political landscape with the defeat of candidates and issues he's exposed. Eric's stories led to the indictments of the late Governor George Voinovich's brother, Paul Voinovich of the V Group, and four associates. He asked the FBI to investigate the mayor he'd served as chief of staff for public corruption; and testified in three federal trials for the prosecution. He forced former Cuyahoga County Coroner Dr. Elizabeth Balraj to admit her investigations of police killings were fraudulent; and to issue notices to local police that her investigators would control police killing investigations. Eric's current work has resulted in Cuyahoga County Judge John Russo accepting the criminal complaint he guided an activist to file against 24 civil rights-violating police officers in the city he once led for operating without valid peace officer credentials. USA Today reporters picked up on Eric's police credentials reporting from his social media page and made it national.

Eric is the author of of his first book, "Fight Police License Plate Spying," which examines the FBI and local police misuse of the National Crime Information Center criminal records history database. An accomplished trumpet player and singer whose friendship with Duke Fakir of the Four Tops resulted in his singing the show's closing song, "Can't Help Myself": Curtis Sliwa of New York's Guardian Angels counts Eric among his founding chapter leaders from the early 1980's role as an Ohio organizer of over 300 volunteer crime fighters in Cleveland, Columbus and Youngstown, Ohio. For his work as a young man Eric was recognized by Cleveland's Urban League as it's 1983 Young Man of the Year.

Known in Cleveland for his encyclopedic knowledge of government and history, and intimately-connected with the region's players, every local major media outlet in Cleveland has picked up on one of Eric's stories since 1979. There is no mainstream newspaper, television or radio outlet in Cleveland that does not include an interview with Eric Jonathan Brewer in its archives over the past 40 years.


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