NEWS

Hood rat Cleveland councilman called police on 200 black men, women and children

Basheer Jones tried to stop a black history museum fundraiser that featured Dr. Umar Johnson and George Fraser

No malicious call to police on black people across the nation has been worse than the one made by Cleveland city councilman Basheer Jones. 

Jones called police on over 200 black men, women and children who’d peacefully and legally-assembled at the African American History Museum where they paid $20 to hear Dr. Umar Johnson and motivational expert George Fraser speak at a fundraiser on May 18th. 

The 3rd District police sergeant who showed up to shut down the event told the museum’s

Controversial psychologist Dr. Umar Johnson was shocked to learn that a black Cleveland councilman had called police to disrupt the Cleveland African American History Museum’s fundraiser.

director, Francis Caldwell, that the councilman claimed the building was unsafe but had no evidence to support the claim.  Mayor Frank Jackson’s top aide, Valarie McCall, told EJB the city had no problem with the event and that building and fire officials had cleared it earlier in the week to operate.  Jackson quickly assigned Chief of Police Calvin Williams to instruct cops to stand down from obeying any order from Jones they were seeking to enforce against the museum and the more than 200 black men, women and children inside. 

Under no Ohio law does a member of the legislative branch of government have the authority to instruct cops to do anything.  The cop sent to shut down the event had already been told “no” by Caldwell. He had returned to order reinforcements before learning through Williams that he had to stop.

The safety of these more than 200 black children, women and men was threatened when Ward 7 Councilman Basheer Jones called Cleveland police to force them out of a building they’d paid $20 each to enter. Jones lied to Cleveland police that the building was unsafe. Mayor Frank Jackson’s top aide, Valarie McCall, said Jones’ claim was untrue. The building had been cleared for occupancy by city officials after an earlier in the week inspection. Jones told confidantes he made the call that placed the safety of black people at risk of violence from police because he thought the director, Frances Caldwell, was a political enemy.

“There is no issue with the city,” McCall told EJBThe only city official with an issue was Jones.

Jones’ calling police on over 200 black men, women and children outraged black Cleveland once it was reported by EJB.  Retired political activist Carl Chaney wrote on EJB’s Facebook page that his phone “blew up” after news of Jones’ call to police became public.  

This was a very bad look and it made all of us in Cleveland look really bad,” Chaney wrote. 

Brandee Varner wrote about the contradiction of a Morehouse graduate being opposed to the black museum.

“He went to Morehouse but doesn’t support an African-American museum? He goes to India, instead of reassuring residents on Wade Park and Hough [streets] that the recent violence has stopped.  He needs to go over his priorities as council person; and if he can’t perform [the] job, give it to someone who will.” 

Meisha McDowell ripped into Jones’ supporters. 

“And what simple-ass fool wants to come to his defense now?  That’s wrong from any possible aspect.”

The Cleveland police sergeant in the picture showed up twice and told African American History Museum officials they had to close because Ward 7’s councilman called his commander twice claiming the building was unsafe. The sergeant wasn’t enforcing a court order under Ohio law and had no authority to even approach the event’s officials to enforce building ordinances.

While Jones’ call to police drew immediate criticism from the accountability-minded citizens of the city’s black community, Cleveland politicians were silent in condemning their colleague’s malicious act against his constituents.  These were the same politicians who rallied around their own colleague, Ward 9 Councilman Kevin Conwell, after Case Western Reserve University (CWRU) police were called on him for speaking to a white female student on a public sidewalk two months earlier in March 2018.  Conwell was detained and forced to produce identification for what amounted to a stop without any hint of probable cause in a city under a federal court to stop police from doing this shit.

Conwell publicly blasted CWRU leadership and police for the “walking while black” call.  The same Conwell was visibly silent about Jones calling police on over 200 black men, women and children although the two are not friendly towards each other.  So were the other vocal council members who thought the white woman’s call to police and their reaction was despicable.

Frances Caldwell (red print) and other guests respond with a firm “no” to the Cleveland police sergeant’s instructions for them to shut down the fundraiser guests had paid $20 each to attend. The police officer had no legal authority to order the building closed at the request of the vindictive-minded Ward 7 councilman who’s earned the nickname “Sellout Jones.”

Jones’ council president, Kevin Kelly, an Irish Catholic politician, said what happened to Conwell was “unjust.”  Kelly’s reaction to criticism of Jones from the public was to ask council to support a charter change that extended the time it took the public to recall a member of council from six months to one year.   Kelly is the same council president who obstructed the clerk of council from accepting 22,000 signatures from majority black citizens to prevent $88 million in public funds from being used to renovate the Quickens Loan Arena for Dan Gilbert.

Council’s silence about Jones’ calling police on constituents was expected.  Every member of Cleveland city council has misused police and building officials to target people they perceive to be political enemies.  Federal U.S. Housing & Urban Development (HUD) officials are currently investigating Cleveland community housing development organizations that have been getting block grant funds councilmembers have given themselves illegal authority to control.

African American History Museum director Frances Caldwell works for Fasernet CEO George Fraser and invited him along with Dr. Umar Johnson to speak to guests as a fundraising draw. Faser and Johnson both said they weren’t leaving the event. Fraser expressed shock that his supporting the success of black people would draw such an angry reaction from a black councilman.

It’s ironic that black Cleveland voters elected Carl Stokes as the first black mayor of a major American city in 1967.  Stokes saw his mission as fighting “for” black people.  Now voters are electing black politicians who fight against black people and treat them worse than the racists Stokes fought to protect them from 51 years ago. 

Jones’ harshest critics have observed that he attended the Asian festival right after he called police on over 200 black men, women and children.  He also bragged on his Facebook page that he was attending an international conference in India that had nothing to do with his duties as a member of an Ohio city council.

Basheer Jones’ attacks on black Ward 7 residents includes the granddaughter of the woman known as the “Mother of Hough,” Fannie Lewis. Lewis was the ward’s longest serving and most effective post-riot councilmember.

Jones has other issues besides his calling police on 200 black people.  He campaigned for a seat on Cleveland city council while living in South Euclid with the mother of his three children.  Over $40,000 was invested in this Muslim candidate’s campaign.  Among his donors were the former chairman of the American Israeli Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), Tim Wuliger; and the founder of the Maltz Museum of Jewish History. 

No black incumbent candidate raised money anywhere near the level of money as Jones; a fact that made him look like the brother Jews were paying to take out another brother.  Jones beat incumbent council T.J. Dow by only 13 votes.  Dow had battled Cleveland Clinic officials and Forest City Enterprises developers who wanted to displace as many black Hough residents near the hospital as possible.  Dow pledged that there’d be a “Hough with us in it.”

Pissed off Ward 7 residents tested the recall waters when they pulled and started circulating petitions to remove him from office.  Jones retaliated with a call to the office of 211 and asked the director to fire Fannie Lewis’ granddaughter, Allison Black.

Jones supporters think he “beat” a recall when circulators let the date expire without turning in what they collected. What Jones and his backers seemed not to understand was that every day recall circulators walked the ward they were carving away at his political base by sharing stories about how he was treating residents.  

“No one can understand a black man calling police on over 200 black men, women and children who were exercising their 1st Amendment rights to assemble and listen to two respected national speakers,” said former Councilman Dow.

 

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.

Leave a Reply

Skip to toolbar