Council vice president Juanita Gowdy started asking the hard questions about contracts, police warrantless pursuits the media calls high speed chases and Brandon King's spending as soon as she joined council on January 1, 2020.

Gowdy encourages Americans stopped, arrested and pursued by uncertified East Cleveland cops to use council’s “impersonation” ordinance to file criminal charges against them with Judge Dawson

Councilwoman says Judge Dawson and East Cleveland's two prosecutors have no other choice but to accept criminal complaints from residents who accuse police of operating without credentials or in violation of laws

CLEVELAND, OH – People who are detained, pursued, ticketed or arrested by individuals discharging police duties in East Cleveland should be using Ordinance Number 525.03 Council Vice President Juanita Gowdy, Councilman Nathaniel Martin and Council President Korean Stevenson enacted to validate their credentials.   State laws instruct police that if their appointing authority hasn’t ensured they’ve received state approved retraining, annually, by December 15th; they are to “cease discharging the duties of a law enforcement officer and wearing a weapon” on December 31st.

East Cleveland city council enacted the Tamia Chapmann Act as a way of addressing the warrantless pursuits into the city by police from other jurisdictions; and from East Cleveland police into surrounding cities. The ordinance was introduced by Council Vice President Juanita Gowdy and co-sponsored by council member Nathaniel Martin and Council President Korean Stevenson. So called “community activist” Ernest Smith voted against it. So did Timothy Austin. Council wants to prevent more innocent American citizens like Tamia Chapman, Timothy Russell and Malissa Williams from being killed or maimed like Jayden Paolino during police pursuits.

The ordinance is captioned the Tamia Chapmann Act and amends the city’s “impersonation of a law enforcement officer” language.  Gowdy asked her colleagues to support the amendments to specifically deal with what the public calls “police high speed chases” and cops making arrests without valid Ohio Peace Officer Training Academy (OPOTA) credentials.

It also gives instructions to law enforcement officers who access the FBI’s National Crime Information Center (NCIC) criminal records history databases in violation of federal laws.  Pursuant to Section 1.1 of the FBI’s NCIC 2000 Manual, under the heading Data and Probable Cause, “an NCIC hit alone is not probable cause to arrest.”

Gowdy told EJBNEWS the amendments to the ordinance do nothing more than take existing laws and place them in one location as guidance to citizens, criminal defense attorneys, police, prosecutors and the municipal court judge.  A violation of any section of Ord. No. 525.03 is a 1st degree misdemeanor that comes with up to six months in jail.

Larry McDonald and twice-convicted Scott Gardner are currently impersonating law enforcement officers in East Cleveland under existing laws even without Ord. No. 525.03. Neither has a legal right to discharge a law enforcement officer’s duties so they have no union or civil rights protections to steal from East Cleveland taxpayers while committing criminal acts in uniform as private citizens.

The ordinance further makes it clear that East Cleveland police have no authority to pursue a motorist in violation of Section 2935.03 of the Revised Code of Ohio.  It’s a state law that limits pursuits across borders to those between political jurisdictions whose councils have enacted agreements with each other.  It also places clear restrictions on the type of pursuable offenses within borders.

East Cleveland police have no authority to search the NCIC database and pursue based on information that a person has an arrest warrant for a missed traffic court appearance.  Using the NCIC and LEADS (Law Enforcement Automated Data Systems) in a manner not consistent with federal and state laws violates Section 2913.04(C)and (D) of the Ohio Revised Code.

“(C) Except as permitted under section 5503.101 of the Revised Code, no person shall knowingly gain access to, attempt to gain access to, cause access to be granted to, or disseminate information gained from access to the law enforcement automated database system created pursuant to section 5503.10 of the Revised Code without the consent of, or beyond the scope of the express or implied consent of, the chair of the law enforcement automated data system steering committee.  (D) No person shall knowingly gain access to, attempt to gain access to, cause access to be granted to, or disseminate information gained from access to the Ohio law enforcement gateway established and operated pursuant to division (C)(1) of section 109.57 of the Revised Code without the consent of, or beyond the scope of the express or implied consent of, the superintendent of the bureau of criminal identification and investigation.”

Gowdy said the amendments let citizens file criminal complaints against uncertified individuals discharging law enforcement duties using Section 2935.09 and 2935.10 of the Ohio Revised Code.  The existing state laws lets citizens with knowledge of crimes report them to a judge or prosecuting attorney.  An East Cleveland judge or prosecutor who fails to accept a citizen’s criminal complaint against a cop who has arrested without OPOTA credentials, searched license plates in violation of federal and state laws or pursued across borders commits a prosecutable criminal act.

East Cleveland prosecutors Willa Hemmons and Heather McCollough have duties to accept criminal complaints from American citizens whose rights are being violated by private citizens with expired OPOTA credentials impersonating law enforcement officers.

Pursuant to Section 9.87 of the Revised Code of Ohio the state “indemnifies” officers and employees who are sued, but only when their conduct is authorized by law.  This places responsibility on East Cleveland and other city legislators to provide legal coverage and pay for the damages of an employee’s “lawful” conduct that results in harm or a violated right.  That’s not the case for employees whose acts are unauthorized by law pursuant to Section 9.87(B)(2) of the Revised Code.

(B) The state shall not indemnify an officer or employee under any of the following circumstances:  (2) When the officer or employee acts manifestly outside the scope of the officer’s or employee’s employment or official responsibilities, with malicious purpose, in bad faith, or in a wanton or reckless manner, as determined by the employer of the officer or employee or by the attorney general.

Gowdy said she and the other two members of council don’t believe East Cleveland taxpayers should be providing legal representation or covering the damages of individuals impersonating law enforcement officers; and those acting outside he law.  Cops facing criminal complaints from citizens for misconduct are supposed to hire their own attorneys.

Section 4 of Ordinance No. 525.03 was specifically amended to read that “an individual operating without valid credentials and exceeding the scope of their statutory authority is not a peace officer for the purposes of this ordinance.”

Every LEADS (NCIC) user in Ohio agrees to obey Section 4501:2-10-01 through 4501:2-10-14 of the Ohio Administrative Code. The ruling from the 9th District Court of Appeals that “a license plate is publicly displayed so there is no expectation of privacy” is flawed because judges did not read the federal and state governing laws found in Section 4501:2-10-01 through 4501:2-10-14 of the Ohio Administrative Code. Embedded within these administrative law sections is the FBI’s NCIC 2000 Manual which states under the heading “Data and Probable cause” that “an NCIC hit alone is not probable cause to arrest.”

Martin told EJBNEWS he voted for Ord. No. 525.03 because he sees the police under Mayor Brandon King and chief of police Scott Gardner as “out of control.”  Gardner was indicted twice for felonies by prosecutors in Medina and Cuyahoga counties.   After pleading down the felonies to misdemeanors two court of common pleas judges, ex-Medina Judge James Kimbler and Cuyahoga Judge Deena Calabreese, had duties to inform East Cleveland officials that he was no longer authorized to work in law enforcement.

Ohio law prevented McDonald from receiving OPOTA credentials so Gardner and ex-chief Michael Cardilli engaged in an organized crime scheme to hide their lack of credentials and those of 24 other law enforcement officer impersonators from council.  Larry McDonald continues to operate like the others in violation of Section 109:2-1-12(G) of the Ohio Administrative Code that instructed them to “cease discharging the duties of law enforcement officers and to cease carrying a weapon.”

Gowdy, who is campaigning for mayor, said McDonald was a private citizen when he murdered Vincent Belmonte.  Whether Ordinance No. 525.03 existed already or not, and irrespective as to whether council amended it, Gowdy said East Cleveland prosecutors have duties to the citizens and not the police.

Pursuant to Section 2935.09 and 2935.10 of the Ohio Revised Code, it’s the duty of the city’s prosecutors and judge to accept criminal complaints from American citizens against police violating laws while operating as law enforcement officers without credentials; and beyond the authority of the public offices they hold.  The two unsuspended general laws of the state already exist so Gowdy said they were added to Ordinance No. 525.03 so Americans whose rights were violated because of uncertified police or police who disobeyed laws knew to use them.

Pro-police councilmembers Timothy Austin and Ernest Smith (in the EJBNEWS mugshot) voted against Ord. No. 525.03.

Gowdy said she is strongly encouraging American citizens East Cleveland police are stopping, searching, arresting, citing and chasing to demand that city’s prosecutors deliver every annual record associated with their authorization from the Ohio Attorney General to work as certified law enforcement officers as exculpatory evidence.  Prosecutors have duties to deliver documents showing that the “appointing authority,” either the Civil Service Commission or the mayor, has requested approval for annual police training from the executive director of OPOTA.  The chief of police is not an “appointing authority” under Ohio law.

Gowdy said license plate searches in East Cleveland are required to be used “for the protection of the officer on the street” pursuant to Section 4501: 2-10-03(B)(1)(d) of the Ohio Administrative Code.  She said driving on public streets is not “probable cause” and Americans have 4th Amendment and 14th Amendment rights to be protected from government’s unlawful searches and seizures.  Gowdy said Ordinance No. 525.03’s guidance on the use of the NCIC databases requires the city’s prosecutors to adjust “affirmative defenses” to include claims that the license plate search was not authorized by federal and state laws.

“If the FBI oversees the NCIC database for Congress, and the NCIC 2000 Manual instructs police across the nation that an NCIC hit alone is not probable cause to arrest, it is logical to conclude that an NCIC hit alone is not probable cause to pursue someone driving a car to death,” Gowdy said.  “The person driving the car is not always the person to whom it is registered.  Congress has also been advised that the information on half the Americans whose names are in it is inaccurate.”

Councilwoman Juanita Gowdy said Ord. No. 525.03 requires Judge William Dawson to accept criminal complaints from Americans who are stopped, searched, cited, arrested or pursued by East Cleveland cops or any other who is operating without valid OPOTA credentials.  Dawson must also accept criminal complaints from citizens whose license plates were searched in violation of federal and state laws.  He must give no deference to court rulings that are not based on federal state laws such as those which claim license plates are publicly-displayed and have no reasonable expectation of privacy.  The “information” stored behind license plate numbers is privacy protected pursuant to the 1974 Privacy Act.  The FBI’s NCIC 2000 Manual instructs police officers accessing the LEADS / NCIC criminal records history databases that “an NCIC hit alone is not probable cause to arrest.”  The databases are supposed supposed to be used for the “protection of the officer on the street” after they’ve established probable cause, visually, that a person has criminally violated a federal, state or local law. Before they approach the vehicle and the driver the officer on the street has the option of running the license plates for their safety.  The information they learn of from the LEADS / NCIC database must be confirmed with the agency that entered it for accuracy and timeliness or else a police officer can take no action and must release the person. The person driving a vehicle is not always the person to whom it’s registered.

Gowdy told EJBNEWS the goal of Ordinance No. 525.03’s amendments is to let Americans interacting with East Cleveland’s government officials know they have rights; and to let law enforcement officers know they’re not covered when they violate laws and constitutional rights.

Ordinance No. 525.03 as amended is shared in full below.

(a) For the purpose of this chapter, the following definitions shall apply unless the context clearly indicates or requires a different meaning.
(1) FEDERAL LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICER. An employee of the United States who serves in a position, the duties of which are primarily the investigation, apprehension or detention of individuals suspected or convicted of offenses under the criminal laws of the United States.
(2) IMPERSONATE. To act the part of A LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICER, assume the identity of A LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICER, wear the uniform or any part of the uniform of A LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICER or display the identification of a particular person or of a member of a class of persons OR LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICER with purpose to make another person believe that the actor is that particular person or is a member of that class of persons OR A LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICER.
(a) TO DISCHARGE THE DUTIES OF A LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICER WITHOUT VALID  OR WITH FRAUDULENT OHIO PEACE OFFICER TRAINING ACADEMY CREDENTIALS IN VIOLATION OF SECTION 109: 2-1-12 OF THE OHIO ADMINISTRATIVE CODE.
(b) TO DISCHARGE THE DUTIES OF A LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICER IN VIOLATION OF A CEASE ORDER FROM THE OHIO ATTORNEY GENERAL PURSUANT TO SECTION 109:2-1-12(G) INSTRUCTING THEM TO CEASE DISCHARGING THE DUTIES OF LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICERS AND TO CEASE CARRYING A WEAPON.
(c) TO DISCHARGE THE DUTIES OF A LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICERS INSIDE THE MUNICIPAL CORPORATION OF EAST CLEVELAND AS A LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICER FROM ANOTHER MUNICIPAL CORPORATION, QUASI-GOVERNMENTAL AGENCY, INSTITUTION, AGENCY, UNIVERSITY, HOSPITAL, TRANSIT AUTHORITY WHOSE LEGISLATIVE AUTHORITY OR GOVERNING BOARD HAS NOT ENTERED A WARRANTLESS PURSUIT AGREEMENT PURSUANT TO R.C 2935.03.
(d) TO DISCHARGE THE DUTIES OF AN EAST CLEVELAND LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICER OUTSIDE THE MUNICIPAL CORPORATION OF EAST CLEVELAND AND INSIDE THE BORDERS OR ON THE PROPERTY OF ANOTHER MUNICIPAL CORPORATION, QUASI-GOVERNMENTAL AGENCY, INSTITUTION, AGENCY, UNIVERSITY OR HOSPITAL WHOSE LEGISLATIVE AUTHORITY OR GOVERNING BOARD HAS NOT ENTERED A WARRANTLESS PURSUIT AGREEMENT PURSUANT TO R.C. 2935.03.
(d) TO DISCHARGE THE DUTIES OF A LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICER OF THE OHIO HIGHWAY PATROL INSIDE THE MUNICIPAL CORPORATION OF EAST CLEVELAND WHERE R.C. 5503.02 HAS INSTRUCTS THE STATE’S LAW ENFORCEMENT EMPLOYEES THEY HAVE NO AUTHORITY TO INVESTIGATE AND REPORT ACCIDENTS; OR
ENFORCE THE STATE’S LAWS.
(3 INVESTIGATOR OF THE BUREAU OF CRIMINAL IDENTIFICATION AND INVESTIGATION. Has the same meaning as in Ohio R.C. 2903.11 OPERATING WITHIN THE STATUTORY LIMITS OF A BCI INVESTIGATOR AS DEFINED IN SECTION 109:5 OF OHIO’S ADMINISTRATIVE CODE; AND OPERATING WITHIN THE POWERS AND DUTIES GRANTED TO THEM IN R.C. 109.054.
(4) PEACE OFFICER. A sheriff, deputy sheriff, marshal, deputy marshal, member of the organized police department of a municipal corporation OPERATING PURSUANT TO THE AUTHORITY IMPOSED UPON MUNICIPAL POLICE OFFICERS UNDER R.C. 737.11; or township constable who is employed by a political subdivision of this state, a member of a police force employed by a metropolitan housing authority under Ohio R.C. 3735.31(D), a member of a police force employed by a regional transit authority under Ohio R.C. 306.35(Y), a state university law enforcement officer appointed under Ohio R.C. 3345.04, a veterans’ home police officer appointed under Ohio R.C. 5907.02, a special police officer employed by a port authority under Ohio R.C. 4582.04 or 4582.28, or a state highway patrol trooper and whose primary duties are to preserve the peace, to protect life and property and to enforce the laws, ordinances or rules of the state or any of its political subdivisions ALL WHILE OPERATING WITH VALID CREDENTIALS AND WITHIN THE STATUTORY LIMITS OF THE PUBLIC OFFICES AND JOBS THEY HOLD. AN INDIVIDUAL OPERATING WITHOUT VALID CREDENTIALS AND EXCEEDING THE SCOPE OF THEIR STATUTORY AUTHORITY IS NOT A PEACE OFFICER FOR THE PURPOSES OF THIS ORDINANCE.
(5) PRIVATE POLICE OFFICER. Any security guard, special police officer, private detective or other person who is privately employed in a police-LIKE OR QUASI-LAW ENFORCEMENT capacity; AND WHO IS ACTING WITHIN THE LIMITS OF THEIR STATUTORY AUTHORITY.
(b) No person shall impersonate a MUNICIPAL LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICER OF THE MUNICIPAL CORPORATION OPERATING UNDER R.C. 737.11, peace officer, private police officer, a federal law enforcement officer or investigator of the Bureau of Criminal Identification and Investigation.
(c) No person, by impersonating a MUNICIPAL LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICER OF THE MUNICIPAL CORPORATION OPERATING UNDER R.C. 737.11, peace officer, a private police officer, a federal law enforcement officer, or Investigator of the Bureau of Criminal Identification and Investigation, shall arrest or detain any person, search any person or search the property of any person, OPERATE A PUBLIC SAFETY VEHICLE OR ITS EQUIPMENT, OR ACCESS THE NCIC/LEADS/NLETS/INTERPOL CRIMINAL RECORDS HISTORY DATABASES; OR OPERATE THE DATABASES IN VIOLATION OF FBI’S NCIC MANUAL OR ANY FEDERAL OR STATE LAW OR RULE IDENTIFIED IN THE CITY’S USER AGREEMENT WITH THE OHIO HIGHWAY PATROL.
(d) No person, with purpose to commit or facilitate the commission of an offense OF THEFT IN OFFICE IN EXCHANGE FOR UNAUTHORIZED WAGES, HEALTH CARE BENEFITS AND PENSIONS, shall impersonate a MUNICIPAL LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICER OF THE MUNICIPAL CORPORATION OPERATING UNDER R.C. 737.11, peace officer, a private police officer, a federal law enforcement officer or investigator of the Bureau of Criminal Identification and Investigation or an officer, agent or employee of the state or the municipality.
(e) It is NOT an affirmative defense to a charge under division (b) above that the impersonation of the MUNICIPAL LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICER OPERATING UNDER R.C. 737.11 OR A peace officer was for a lawful purpose.
(f) No person shall falsely pretend or represent himself or herself to be a MUNICIPAL LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICER OPERATING UNDER R.C. 737.11, public official or public servant with intent to induce another to submit to such pretended official authority or otherwise to act in reliance upon that pretense to his or her prejudice.
(g) NO OFFICER OR EMPLOYEE OF THE MUNICIPAL CORPORATION SHALL FAIL TO ENFORCE ALL PROVISIONS OF THIS ORDINANCE AS WRITTEN; OR REFUSE TO ACCEPT A COMPLAINT FROM A CITIZEN WHO ALLEGES A VIOLATION OF IT PURSUANT TO R.C. 2935.09 AND R.C. 2935.10.

WHOEVER VIOLATES ANY SECTION OF ORD. NO. 525.03 SHALL BE IMPRISONED FOR A TERM OF SIX MONTHS AND FINED $1000 PURSUANT TO ORD. NO. 501.99. BACKGROUND ADOPTIVE LANGUAGE:

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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