Judge Gaul Wants Black Woman That White Neighbors Say Police Beat And Called Nigger To Apologize To Police At Sentencing

Submitted by JournalistKathy... on Wed, 03/09/2011 - 01:38.
Cuyahoga County Court of  Common Pleas Judge Daniel Gaul

From the Metro Desk of the Kathy Wray Coleman Online News Blog.Com(www.kathywraycolemanonlinenewsblog.com)

Cuyahoga County Court of Common Pleas Judge Daniel Gaul, on probation himself for six months after the Ohio Supreme Court found him guilty of ethics violations last Oct., is asking a Black college girl to apologize to the White male Cleveland Fifth District police officers that White neighbors said beat her unnecessarily and called her nigger.

Gaul will sentence Rebecca Whitby, 25, March 8 at 10 am.

Though charged in a 12-count indictment with robbing the police of their guns, child endangerment and numerous counts of assault on a peace officer and resisting arrest, the jury found her guilty last month of only one count of felony assault on a police officer in the fourth degree, and resisting arrest, a second degree misdemeanor. The girl's mother, also named Rebecca Whitby, was acquitted of two counts of felony assault against police but convicted of a fifth degree felony count of obstruction of justice for allegedly seeking to shield her daughter from an attack and beating by police the night the girl was arrested. Whitby faced 39 months in prison, and her mother, whom Gaul sentenced to two months probation, faced a year.

“The jury opted for a compromise on the verdicts," said Cleveland Attorney Terry Gilbert, who represented the older Whitby while Cleveland Attorney Wendell Scott Ramsey represented the younger one. Gilbert said that he would appeal and that mother Rebecca Whitby, 46,  was actually charged wrongly with a felony count of obstruction of justice rather than a misdemeanor charge of obstruction of official business, though he said Gaul denied his motion to dismiss the charge.

Activists are questioning Gaul's demand for an apology.

"Apologies, absent some heinous or grossly insensitive crime, are typically left to defendants because they can prejudice appeals," said Kathy Wray Coleman, a leader of the Imperial Women. "So the judge wants a Black woman to apologize to police for allegedly being beaten unnecessarily and called a nigger. We urge activists to attend the sentencing and clearly this case has racial implications since no meaningful investigation by Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson has been initiated on a potential hate crime by police as to the alleged nigger name calling incident and police misconduct."

The jury issued the verdicts at issue after a week long trial that ended Feb 7. That trial drew testimony from the Whitby women and a host of others, including Cleveland police and Cuyahoga County Jail officials.

Gaul was handpicked to hear the consolidated cases of Whitby and her mother by Cuyahoga Presiding and Administrative Judge Nancy Fuerst after Cuyahoga Judge Kathleen Sutula rejected her assignment, saying personal assignments by Fuerst and her predecessors are unfair and unconstitutional.

Before departing from the case Sutula wished the Whitby women well and said that she is not a hanging judge as suggested in an article published by the Kathy Wray Coleman Online News Blog.Com. Published last year, Coleman's article raised eyebrows as to whether judges hard on crime like Sutula, Gaul and Cuyahoga Judge Tim McGinty are being handpicked  for reassigned cases to manipulate defendants into taking plea deals, a claim Sutula denied outright.

The original judge was Cuyahoga Judge Stuart Friedman, who voluntarily quit the case last year after telling activists that had protested in front of the Justice Center over the injustice that he is "not a racist." He had been assigned by computer generated random draw.

In order for the Whitby women to argue the constitutionality of Fuert's handpicked replacement of Friedman with Gaul on appeal, their lawyers had to raise that issue via the filing of an affidavit of prejudice, though any failure to raise it could be raised as possible ineffective assistance of counsel on appeal, with new counsel.

Community activists, led by the Imperial Women, that also include members of the People's Forum, the Immigrant Support Network, Stop Targeting Ohio's Poor, Ohio Family Rights, Cleveland FIST, Workers World, Black on Black Crime and the Oppressed People'sation,  are pushing state legislators for a law that requires that Ohio trial court judges are assigned and reassigned by random draw at all times to ensure due process protections.

The case unraveled almost two years ago when the younger Whitby was, according to an elderly White neighbor who spoke publicly and  who testified at trial, beaten and  subjected to racial slurs such as  “nigger” by White Fifth District police officers one dark night in 2009 in Cleveland's Collinwood neighborhood where the family once lived. Court documents reveal that police were called to the home by her father who said she was too intoxicated to drive, but the family says that records reveal that she was only slightly intoxicated, and that charges were filed only after an internal complaint against police was filed.

Neither of the Whitby women, both of whom took the stand at trial, has a prior criminal record and they say police harassed them because when they found nothing wrong they were determined to get something out of nothing for the inconvenience. Police said the then 130 lb Whitby grabbed their guns in a Jesse James type show down, though first review of the younger Whitby's case by the Cuyahoga County Grand Jury came as a "no bill," meaning no charges. And then something happened.

McGinty appointed Cleveland NAACP Executive Director Stanley Miller to the grand jury as its foreman. He did it per state law where the 15-member grand jury, chosen like regular juries in Ohio and via voter pools, can either choose the grand jury foreman from amongst the group, or a common pleas court judge from the affiliated county can choose from outside the jury pool and his choice is added to the 14 others to make up the 15-member grand jury pool, as McGinty did with Miller. Thereafter, and after the Whitbys filed internal complaints againt Cleveland police, a county grand jury, led by Miller,  issued indictments of the criminal charges against both women.

 

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see you found your way here Kathy

Thought everyone would be interested in your reports :)

Glad you picked up on the link I left you on your facebook page, be well, Betty

 

The problem is, America is NOT a Democracy - it is a Republic! As our Founding Fathers established, can we keep it?