CLEVELAND, OH – The man in the yellow t-shirt is lifelong Cleveland and Ward 7 resident Robert Tinsley. His Facebook Live video shows him voicing his concerns about youth violence only to have the microphone taken from him by councilman and South Euclid resident Basheer Jones.
Jones didn’t want to hear what Tinsley had to say at a corner lot where he claimed he was operating his ward office out of a tent to hear resident concerns and draw attention to youth violence.
When Tinsley started talking to Cuyahoga County Democratic Party Chairwoman Chontel Brown, the two-day temporary resident of Cleveland interrupted him again. He tried to play it off as if Chontel was being disrespected and he was her great protector. But it was obvious Jones didn’t like being revealed by someone who actually lives in Ward 7 as someone Tinsley didn’t know and has never seen.
“I’ve lived here all my life,” he said. Jones didn’t like hearing Tinsley say “nothing’s changed” with the new councilman.
Bishop Tony Minor stepped in with words to Jones to let Chontel and Tinsley talk as he became more belligerent in his attempt to control what was being heard. Attention being on someone else than him was too much for the South Euclid resident’s ego; so the video shows him stepping in again to disrupt a conversation that had nothing to do with him between Brown and Tinsley.
Jones, a government official, had already taken the microphone from Tinsley, a citizen, in violation of his 1st Amendment free speech rights. Jones’ interference with his 1st Amendment conversation with the Democratic Party’s chairwoman had some thinking he was going to get violent with Tinsley.
The video shows men moving towards Brown and Jones as Tinsley controlled himself despite the outrageous and civil rights-violating conduct of the Cleveland government official. One of the men is Cleveland councilman Blaine Griffin.
The event was a fundraiser to raise money for the museum. Mayor Frank Jackson’s building officials had cleared the building for occupancy earlier in the week. Jones decided the building was unsafe for occupancy and called police to supersede the mayor’s authorization to open it.