CLEVELAND, OH – Samaria Rice did not want Timothy Loehman and Frank Garmback disciplined for their individual roles in the death of her son Tamir Rice. She wanted them criminally prosecuted. It was her desire to meet with ex-United States Attorney General Eric Himler Holder to deliver that message when he arrived in Cleveland to announce the “civil review” of 600 incidents of police incident reports; and the crimes they detailed law enforcement officers under Mayor Frank Jackson’s management committing against Americans.
Rice’s voice was hijacked by self-serving attorney David Malik who showed up without her after she fired him. The civil rights claim he filed wasn’t what she wanted. What he had been instructed to do was to file a criminal complaint using federal and state laws that were already in “the Codes” and generations old.
Yes. That’s me second from the right in the feature image. I wrote the letter firing Malik. I introduced Samaria to attorney Benjamin Crump because I knew he had core level understanding, nationally, of how to get a federal complaint to Holder. I also believed his national presence would help Samaria keep Tamir from ending up forgotten like the other children Cleveland cops had killed. Ben was president of the National Bar Association and Holder was a member.
Tamir Rice’s death struck me personally because his great grandmother, Mildred Brewer, served as vice president of East Cleveland city council during my time as mayor. She died before her grandson was killed and I know her heart would have been broken had she been alive. I know Samaria wanted a criminal complaint filed against Loehman and Garmback because that’s the message I delivered to Ben before I introduced him to her. Malik fucked it up with his maliciously filed civil complaint and he got Ben dragged into the public mess his filing created. Malik’s greed obstructed Samaria’s justice and he exposed her to unnecessary and distracting criticism.
If Issue 24 co-author attorney Subodh Chandra wanted to help he should have enforced federal and state criminal laws against Cleveland police as then Mayor Jane Campbell’s director of law from January 1, 2002 through December 31, 2005. He also should have given the “use of force” letter he received from Assistant U.S. Attorney Steven Rosen on July 23, 2002 to Chief Prosecuting Attorney Anthony Jordan, Safety Director James Draper, Council President Frank Jackson and Council Safety Committee Chairman Zack Reed. I forwarded it to them.
As a Cleveland resident who worked as a Special Assistant to Mayor Michael White after he asked the U.S. Department of Justice to investigate Cleveland police I’m voting “NO” on Issue 24. My reasons are numerous as a former mayor and chief law conservator of the peace in East Cleveland for four years. Chief among them is that a charter change cannot conflict with the Ohio Constitution and unsuspended general laws enacted by the Ohio General Assembly.
Issue 24 operates far outside the authority given to “Home Rule” cities pursuant to Article 18.3 and Article 18.7 of the Ohio Constitution. “Municipal powers of local self-government” is the heading. I’ve underlined the section Issue 24 violates.
Article 18.3: Municipalities shall have authority to exercise all powers of local self-government and to adopt and enforce within their limits such local police, sanitary and other similar regulations, as are not in conflict with general laws. (1912)
Article 18.7: Any municipality may frame and adopt or amend a charter for its government and may, subject to the provisions of section 3 of this article, exercise thereunder all powers of local self-government.
Issue 24 further ignores instructions to police found in Section 737.11 of the Ohio Revised Code not to disobey any federal or state criminal laws by mandating that they obey them all. It also ignores the existing right Americans have in Ohio under Sections 2935.09 and 2935.10 of the Ohio Revised Code to file criminal complaints when they have knowledge of crimes. It ignores Section 18.4 of the United States Code, “misprision of felony,” giving anyone with knowledge of a felony the duty and authority to report it to a court of cognizable jurisdiction.
Issue 24 also does not give Americans living in Cleveland the criminal prosecutions of police, prosecutors, judges and mayors for their “color of law” crimes against our constitutional rights as law enforcement officers. The same with building, housing, fire and health inspectors discharging law enforcement duties. There are already laws being ignored or obstructed by individuals elected or appointed to public offices who are operating on their own “policies.” The only charter changes that have actually been enforced are those that shrink the size of council or expand their wages. Earl Turner’s still trying to collect red light camera money from debts a change in the charter wiped out.
There’s a charter requirement that mayors and council members be residents. There wasn’t a peep out of Kevin Kelley or Jackson over the last four years about Basheer Jones living between Cleveland Heights and South Euclid. Everybody in town knew Jeffrey Johnson lived with his now ex-wife and their family in Twinsburg when he sought the job of Cleveland mayor in 2017.
What we have in Cuyahoga County, Cleveland and the surrounding and internal political jurisdictions are mayors, judges, directors of law, prosecuting attorneys, safety directors, police chiefs obstructing unsuspended federal and state laws and violating constitutional rights with their “policies.” When an American files a complaint against a law enforcement officer at any level in Cuyahoga County and northern Ohio it’s obstructed with a policy. So now instead of criminal complaints going to where federal and state laws intend them, Issue 24 is going to divert them to a time-wasting “civilian review board.” It’s insane.
Attorney Thomas DiCaudo didn’t possess an oath of office when he prosecuted the citation I received in Boston Heights. Neither did the law director who appointed him. When I sought to use Section 2935.09 of the Ohio Revised Code as a criminal complaint against the law enforcement officer he would not accept it as a violation of his personal policy. He obstructed the prosecutor’s office by discharging its duties without an oath with the help of a complicit judge.
It’s no different with the complaint I filed against Kevin Kelley that ended up in then Judge Ronald Adrine’s possession. Earl Turner as the Clerk of Court didn’t have a process for accepting citizen complaints. Adrine didn’t follow R.C. 2935.10 with his response. Neither did Barbara Langhenry in her capacity as Cleveland’s chief prosecuting attorney.
When Campbell was elected mayor it was Chandra whose office had to negotiate the $363,000 in back pay and damages to two cops Mayor White fired for beating a nearly blind American Negro man while they were drunk and off work; and then lied about it. It was a deal she’d cut with the Cleveland Police Patrolmen’s Association in exchange for an endorsement. There are so many different ways justice in Cleveland has been obstructed. The complaint process identified in R.C. 2935.09 and 2935.10 was not available as a tool for citizens even thought it existed as a state general law under Chandra’s direction.
It was Chandra serving as Campbell’s director of law when the results of the first federal investigation White asked for in 1999 were released. The same with the second investigation. Anyone who remembers ex-U.S. Attorney Steve Dettelbach’s statement when Holder agreed to a third investigation Cleveland police will remember him ripping the Campbell administration for doing nothing with the first two investigations. From my perspective Chandra’s presence in the civil rights community is for his own profit. He’s got “some” American Negroes fooled into thinking he’s a “cousin.”
A Cleveland municipal court judge asked me why former Councilman Kenneth Johnson received 6 years in prison for allegedly misappropriating public funds when ex-County jail director Ken Mills got 9 months for creating conditions that cost lives. I asked why Cleveland municipal court judges are giving Americans who want trials stiffer sentences than they were offered during plea bargain deals as a “trial tax?” None of the justice we’re getting in Cuyahoga County and Cleveland is fair.
Joseph Cimperman diverted federal block grant funds to pay for his pussy bill. The same federal prosecutors who saw American Negro Johnson’s general fund expense dollars as federal passed on the Caucasian as they saw Cimperman’s misuse of federal funds as a state “misdemeanor” offense.
If judges can check employee Covid vaccination statuses they can ensure every law enforcement officer’s Ohio Peace Officer Training Academy credentials and prosecutor’s oaths of office are validated as having been authorized in the manner spelled out by general laws. Oaths of office, bonds and “verified” training credentials should be presented as exculpatory evidence during every American’s trial.
If judges were interested in justice they’d read federal and state NCIC and LEADS laws that instruct police that “an NCIC hit alone is not probable cause to arrest.” They’d stop ruling that “license plates are publicly displayed and there is no expectation of privacy.” If they’d read the 1974 Privacy Act that provides guidance on when NCIC use is authorized they’d know the ruling is based on no law but a curve-graded and ignorant lie that makes them look stupid for repeating it.
Their legally unsubstantiated “opinion” of laws they have not read obstructs the state’s interest in enforcing Section 2913.04(C) and (D) of the Ohio Revised Code making it a felony for cops to use the NCIC and LEADS databases outside federal and state laws. Justice is not something that’s intellectually perfunctory.
Congress in 1994 clearly intended for police to be criminally prosecuted for color of law crimes against Americans by upgrading Title 18 of the United States Code, Sections 241 and 242 from misdemeanors to felonies. The penalties for violating constitutional rights under the color of law have been 10 years in prison. Cops are to get the death penalty if the rights violation causes a death. For the past 27 years the 1994 Violent Crime and Law Enforcement Control Act has provided this level of federal law accountability to protect us from constitutionally abusive policing and it’s not been enforced by U.S. Attorneys in Northern Ohio.
There are numerous statutes Congress and the General Assembly of Ohio has enacted that define when law enforcement officers are operating “within the law” or are “exceeding the authority” of their public offices or appointments. All require the law enforcement officers they give orders to enforce them pursuant to Section 737.11 of the Ohio Revised Code. They require the voters who elect their law enforcement officers to hold them accountable.
Issue 24 distracts from Samaria Rice’s demand that her son’s killers be criminally prosecuted and not protected as they have been by her own attorneys, prosecutors and judges. It’s no secret how her son died. It’s no secret who killed him and then conspired to violate his constitutional rights. There is no statute of limitations for violent deaths. The federal and state laws that give her justice just haven’t been used by any attorney or prosecutor to deliver it to her.
If Issue 24’s authors were versed in state and federal laws they would have achieved their goal with the identification by specific statutory reference of each general law that instructs Cleveland law enforcement officers when they are operating within their authority and outside it; and the method officials “shall”use to process criminal complaints and deliver exculpatory evidence to Americans who file them against any law enforcement officer.
I was politically active and campaigning for a seat on the Cleveland Board of Education in 1983 when James Barrett and Bertrand Jennings were promoting a civilian review board. They had one vision. Attorney George Forbes was presiding over the council and he had another. The issue that made it to the ballot was the watered down version council put in place of the one wanted by Jim and Bert. Jim and my cousin, Wilson Howard, were married to sisters.
Jim had been Dennis Kucinich’s safety director and afterwards a candidate for Cleveland mayor against George Voinovich. I was the only journalist to attend the announcement of his candidacy when I wrote for the Call & Post. Check the Cleveland Public Library “Research Database” and review Call & Post content under William O. Walker and Harry Alexander as publishers. After George and council got their watered down version of the civilian review board enacted by the voters they sought to punish him with another charter change to term limit the council president.
The criminal complaint Samaria wanted has still not been filed against Timothy Loehman for shooting Tamir and Frank Garmback for obstructing justice by not arresting him. Both men are on video operating in conspiracy to deprive Tamir of his constitutional rights by letting him bleed to death.
The most compelling documentation of this reality is the video of Vincent Belmonte bleeding to death in East Cleveland after the American with a right to bear arms was gunned down in an execution by law enforcement officer impersonator Larry McDonald. No East Cleveland public safety officer is shown attempting to save Belmonte’s life. Chief of police impersonator and twice convicted Scott Gardner straight out lied about Belmonte pointing a gun at McDonald. Neither Loehman nor Garmback acted to administer first aid to Tamir.
Every act the Jackson administration engaged in after the American child was shot and allowed to bleed to death constituted a conspiracy to violate Tamir’s constitutional rights “under the color of law.” Any civilian oversight board has operated and will operate to confuse what laws have made clear. Individuals discharging duties to obey laws are to be criminally prosecuted when they disobey them and violate a constitutional right.
Clevelanders are not harmed because we don’t have a federal and state constitution, or federal, state and local laws that determine when law enforcement acts are lawful. Americans living in Cleveland under the current office holders and appointees are harmed because of their rogue and un-American disobedience to existing and unsuspended federal and state constitutions; and laws they’ve replaced with their personal or political policies “under the color of law.”
I don’t know any American whose constitutional rights have been or are being violated by law enforcement officers who wants them to receive time off, demotions or terminations, exclusively, for the crimes committed against them. Neither does the United States Congress or the General Assembly of Ohio. Federal and state general laws exist to criminally prosecute law enforcement officers for violated rights and crimes against Americans; and Issue 24 clearly obstructs them.
Issue 24 reeks of a charter change where its envisioners are thinking of themselves in the position to implement it. That’s not how and why charter changes are to be written. Had it been based on enforcing existing state and federal general laws that call for law enforcers who commit crimes to be criminally prosecuted under existing laws at the request of the citizens whose rights they violated it would have been correct.
Clevelanders want law enforcement officers committing criminal acts while operating under the color of law to violate their constitutional rights prosecuted “up the ladder.” Issue 24 doesn’t even come close to giving the constitutionally abused the “up the ladder” justice they deserve. Its passage will open the door for the police unions to take it to the Supreme Court of Ohio and to lobby state lawmakers to ban civilian oversight outside the existing general laws.
Read Issue 24 in its entirety as it is supposed to appear on the ballot. The last line is the killer. Forbes led council to enact a civil rights ordinance in 1974 that’s never been used. Not even Chandra used it when he served as Campbell’s director of law and chief prosecuting attorney. It gets superseded and so do all civil service laws mayors don’t enforce.
Charter changes can’t conflict with the general laws of our state and nation. If Chandra wants to defend his work then schedule a debate between us at the City Club or the African American History Museum. The thinking behind Issue 24 is not even a good place to start.
I understand there were good intentioned Americans involved. They were guided in the wrong direction. Every societal fix being begged for already exists in either our constitutions or state and federal general laws. They have to be read and obeyed. We already have a great nation and Americans are being misguided into fights for tools that already exist.
No on Issue 24.
Shall the Charter of the City of Cleveland be amended by amending and replacing existing Sections 115-1, 115-2, 115-3 and 115-4, and enacting new Sections 115-5 and 119-1 of the Charter to reorganize the Office of Professional Standards as subordinate to the Civilian Police Review Board rather than the executive head of the police force; to require that the Civilian Police Review Board receive funding in an amount equal to at least 1% of the budget of the police force; to expand the duties of the Civilian Police Review Board to include issuing complaints alleging any misconduct by Cleveland police officers or Division of Police employees; to require a full and complete investigation of all complaints against Division of Police employees and any additional allegations discovered in the investigation; to require the imposition of no less than the minimum discipline that the Civilian Police Review Board recommends against the police officer or employee unless the executive head of the police force imposes lesser discipline based on clear and convincing evidence establishing that the Civilian Police Review Board erred and the Civilian Police Review Board does not overrule such lesser discipline; to prescribe termination as presumed discipline for certain conduct absent mitigating factors; to establish the Community Police Commission and provide for the appointment, composition and qualifications of its members and their minimum compensation; to provide a minimum funding obligation of $1 million for the budget of the Community Police Commission with annual increases plus an amount equal to 0.5% of the annual police budget for grants to community-based groups; to provide for the duties of the Community Police Commission, which include serving as the final authority over the sufficiency of discipline of Division of Police officers, serving as the final authority over Cleveland Division of Police policies and procedures and the Division’s recruitment and examinations of police recruits and the Division’s training of police officers, compiling and maintaining employee records, conducting advocacy and outreach efforts, and hiring its own legal counsel when it deems necessary; to provide for an Executive Director and minimum staffing levels for the Community Police Commission; to provide for the duties of the Executive Director of the Community Police Commission, including contracting authority; and to provide that this amendment supersedes and controls over previously adopted Charter provisions, ordinances, and collective bargaining agreements?