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Imperial Women Want Judge Lynn McLaughlin Murray Removed From Criminal Case Against Protesting Cleveland Schools Student
Submitted by JournalistKathy... on Fri, 04/08/2011 - 02:04.
Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson
Cuyahoga County Presiding and Administrative Judge Nancy Fuerst
From the Metro Desk of the Kathy Wray Coleman Online News Blog.Com and Cleveland Urban News.Com(www.kathywraycolemanonlinenewsblog.com)
The Imperial Women want Cleveland Municipal Court Judge Lynn McLaughlin Murray off the case of Collinwood High School graduate Destini Bronaugh because she was handpicked to preside and because the charges were brought by Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson's appointed law director and the mayor has endorsed the judge as to this year's judicial election for her bid to hold on to the seat.
Cleveland Municipal Court judges are required to be assigned by lot or random draw, but often in politically motivated cases judges like McLaughlin Murray are handpicked to harass defendants in violation of their constitutional right to a neutral trier of the law, activists say. And they say that Blacks are disproportionately impacted by the alleged illegal activity.
"The case docket reveals that Judge McLaughlin Murray was personally assigned in violation of Destini's due process rights and she is endorsed by the mayor when the mayor's law director initiated the retaliatory prosecution against this innocent Black girl," said Kathy Wray Coleman, a leader of the Imperial Women, a grassroots organization."If the judge will not get off the case as ethically required by the Judicial Code of Conduct and ethical rules for Ohio attorneys we ask that Attorney Anthony Jordan, who represents Destini and is being paid by the family, file an affidavit of prejudice under state law to seek her removal from the case by Cuyahoga County Presiding and Administrative Judge Nancy Fuerst for these and other reasons."
Jordan was a former chief city prosecutor under former Cleveland Mayor Jane Campbell.
Bronaugh, 19, who graduated last summer from Cleveland's Collinwood High School, is facing misdemeanor charges of obstruction of official business and resisting arrest brought by the City of Cleveland in retaliation for her participation last May in a peaceful student protest at the school around teacher layoffs and school closings. She has pleaded not guilty to all charges.
The incident, including Bronaugh's brutal arrest at the protest by Cleveland Fifth District police officers, was caught on video. It has gotten some 20,000 hits on youtube.com under the title "Cleveland Police Brutalize Student Protesters."
(YOUTUBE.COM VIDEO AT http://youtu.be/RpmjnDW-Ys8 THE MAY 13, 2010 BRUTAL ARREST BY CLEVELAND FIFTH DISTRICT POLICE OFFICERS OF COLLINWOOD HIGH SCHOOL GRADUATE DESTINI BRONAUGH AND HER YOUNGER SISTER, ALSO THEN A STUDENT AT THE SCHOOL, FOR A PEACEFUL STUDENT PROTEST AROUND SCHOOL CLOSINGS AND TEACHER LAYOFFS)
Police allegedly went to the protest at the school on May 13 last year to harass the protesting students per the directives of higher ups, arresting Bronaugh's younger sister for an alleged curfew violation for the protest, and then targeting Bronaugh when she complained.
A Cuyahoga County Juvenile Court Magistrate last year dismissed charges against Bronaugh's younger sister because state law mandates that students receive a citation before any arrest on a charge of a curfew violation.
Bronaugh was indicted by a Cuyahoga County Grand Jury last year on a felony charge of assault against police and resisting arrest around the protest last year, but Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Bill Mason dismissed the charges as lacking merit, only for Triozzi to bring the pending charges on behalf of the City of Cleveland.
Bronaugh's mother said that the fight to clear her daughter's name is exhausting.
"I am tired of what we have to go through in this case," said Tina Bronaugh, 42, Destini Bronaugh's mother. "But we have to fight this unfair and illegal prosecution not only for my daughter Destini but for other children that they may want to criminalize for a peaceful student protest allowed under the First Amendment."
Coleman said that the Imperial Women are calling for Triozzi to be fired.
"We urge the mayor to fire Mr. Triozzi immediately and we want an FBI investigation of each and every case that he has pursued against Black women and others by usurping the role of Chief Prosecutor Victor Perez to fix cases with the help of corrupt judges like Judge McLaughlin Murray, whom we find unfit for the bench and an embarrassment to the judicial community," said Coleman.