Although coronavirus is ever present in our daily lives and occupies space constantly in our news and everyday activities, there are other plagues that haunt us. Black, Brown, and poor communities are not given the attention they deserve and the issues that plague them are often not addressed as critical, because of institutional racism and systemic inequality.
It’s been over five years since the city of Cleveland entered into a settlement agreement with the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), mandating that Cleveland make specific, compressive reforms to its police department. The agreement, or consent decree, was initially projected to last five years.
Despite broad consensus that Cuyahoga County’s bail system is in desperate need of reform, early bit of momentum from elected officials fizzled in 2020. Aside from pilot pretrial program at the Cleveland municipal level in which Judge Michelle Earley integrated call and text reminders of court dates and no jail time for the majority of low-level, non-violent offenses, little progress was made.
Why is Criminal Rule 46 important?
Criminal Rule 46 is the Rule of Practice and Procedure that provides all state courts with instructions regarding bail-setting procedures. This Rule therefore has the opportunity to implement bail reform across the state of Ohio.Tags: open government
By Emma Keeshin
It was a Saturday in August 2017 when I drove across town to gather in Euclid with family and friends of Luke Stewart, a young father who was killed by Euclid Police after they found him sleeping in his parked car.
By Emma Keeshin
As part of its consent decree process, the Cleveland Division of Police is revising its search and seizure policies, which govern when and how officers can stop, arrest, and detain community members. Although its 2018 revised drafts represent an improvement, there are still changes that must be made for the policies to comply with basic best practices.
By Emma Keeshin
When we first met with Toledo city officials to discuss safety it was the summer of 2017, and it had just been announced that Toledo would partner with the Department of Justice (DOJ) on an anti-violent crime initiative. Less crime, less violence – what could be bad about that?
To usher in the summer of 2018, the state of Ohio distinguished itself in vigorously enforcing the Trump Administration’s “zero tolerance” immigration policy, and the detention of families. In the first week of June, 114 people were captured at Corso’s Flower and Gardening Center in Sandusky.
This simple, yet extraordinarily heavy declaration has swept the nation in recent years. But what does such a simple declaration mean? More specifically, what does it say for our country that 150 years post-emancipation the descendants of slaves must continuously declare to the world that their lives matter?
A mayor’s court is a local-level court that hears cases about traffic violations, minor misdemeanors, and other offenses that cannot result in jail time, and they only operate in Ohio and Louisiana. In Ohio, someone does not have to be a judge, or even have a law degree, to hear cases in mayor’s courts.
Imagine receiving a notice from your landlord that you are being evicted because city officials have determined that your conduct makes the property a “nuisance.” Perhaps your teenage child has stayed out past curfew one too many times causing your neighbors to complain.
By Dan Rogan
“Information is a Right: The Press’s Role in Illuminating Mass Incarceration and Race”
With Keynote Speaker Jamil Smith
The 2017 Belle and Ed Likover Lecture
Sunday, October 22, 2 p.m.
Cleveland State University
Bert L. & Iris S. Wolstein Center, Annex
2000 Prospect Ave.
Our two international interns from Humanity In Action, Julie Vainqueur and Lukasz Niparko, articulate their responses to Ava DuVernay’s powerful documentary, 13th.
Julie Vainqueur, writing from a French, Afrocaribbean perspective.
I want to communicate about issues that matter, to listen to the unheard, amplify their voices, and to educate others about the social injustices of the world.
Every day, people with felony and misdemeanor convictions are released from jails and prisons across the state, ready to start over and become upstanding, contributing members of society. For many of these individuals, reality kicks in and they come to realize that their punishment isn’t truly over.
The Cleveland Indians home opener represents spring weather, renewed hope for a World Series title, and an unfortunate social stigma. It has become impossible to overlook the controversy that the Chief Wahoo logo generates as it continues to perpetuate racism against Native Americans.
After bringing the legendary Selma marches to the big screen, Ava Duvernay returns with a new Netflix documentary, 13th, telling the true story behind the 13th amendment. Passed in 1865, it declared that “Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, nor any place subject to their jurisdiction.”
Where you live matters. The zip code you live in matters even more. According to a recent study by Virginia Commonwealth University, life expectancy for those that live in the 44103 zip code near St Clair and Superior is 12 years less than for those living 10 miles down the road in the 44124 zip code of Lyndhurst.
Earlier this month, members of the Ohio General Assembly gathered to receive information about capital punishment in Ohio. The Joint Legislative Study Committee on Victims’ Rights listened to a representative from the Office of the Attorney General while he discussed the problems Ohio is having obtaining the needed drugs to execute people.
By Steve David
For many Clevelanders, Opening Day is a special holiday. They have survived another winter, so it’s time to celebrate.
And who could think of a better way to express your joy than by wearing racist symbols and yelling epithets at people trying to reclaim their history?
By Maria Bruno
There are plenty of powerful arguments against the use of the death penalty. The frequency of wrongful convictions, the massive financial burden on states, and the moral qualms against government-sanctioned murder are a few of the most common. A study released earlier this year by Frank Baumgartner of University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill illustrates another very good reason for abolishing the death penalty: racial, gender, and location bias.
By Tim Cable
Martin Luther King Jr. Day is an opportunity to reflect not just on what King accomplished but also on how his tactics can inform our work for social change.
When King wrote his Letter from Birmingham Jail, racial segregation was an institution.
By Shakyra Diaz
Many would like to quickly move forward now that a grand jury has decided not to indict the Cleveland police officers involved in the tragic death of Tamir Rice, the 12 year old child who was shot in less than one second while playing in a park.
For some, Columbus Day is federal holiday and a day off for many workers. For Native Americans, it’s not a day of celebration. It’s a day to remember the invasion of 1492 that led to murder, illness, robbery, rape, kidnapping, assimilation, and relocation.
By Steve David
The monumental events of the Civil Rights Movement in the 1960s gave hope to many African-Americans who desired an end to racial segregation and discrimination. The abolishment of Jim Crow laws ended the implementation of laws that supported racial segregation in Southern states.
By Shakyra Diaz
There has been recent public outcry about the disproportionate interactions with law enforcement in communities of color. To better understand what’s happening, Ohio could make use of a centralized database that would document instances of excessive force, lethal and non-lethal.
Earlier this year, two criminal justice students at Sinclair Community College in voiced support for a database that specifically would document instances of police shootings.
By Shakyra Diaz
Several weeks ago, I had the opportunity to visit the Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Drug Court with fellow ACLU intern, Kyra Schoonover. It certainly was an eye-opening experience for both of us.
How It Works
Before the proceedings began, we met with the judge.
By Lisa Wurm
The Ohio General Assembly has now passed the state budget, and the first quarter of the two-year legislative session is over. As always, the ACLU of Ohio has been very active at the Statehouse in what was a very busy first six months.
Following the botched execution of Dennis McGuire in Ohio early last year and other similar bungled executions across the country, death penalty opponents have been calling for reform.
In a recent article, former Governor Bob Taft (R) argued that the escalating price tag of the death penalty should warrant reconsideration of its use in Ohio.
On the day Cleveland police officer Michael Brelo was found “not guilty” on all counts against him in the tragic and unnecessary execution-style deaths of Malissa Williams and Timothy Russell, I was in complete shock.
My Reaction to the Deaths
I remember the morning after the two Cleveland residents were murdered in November 2012.
By Ellen Kubit
Photograph courtesy of Rachel Woods
Change in the Cleveland Division of Police is long overdue.
After the U.S. Department of Justice publicized its findings from its most recent investigation of the CDP, the ACLU provided recommendations for how Cleveland police can fix their unconstitutional policies and practices.