MIA JACKSON FAILS TO GIVE COMMUNITY CONFIDENCE

Submitted by Roldo on Fri, 11/06/2009 - 14:55.

As if the Cleveland police don’t have enough on their hands. Now they have another missing person: Mayor Frank Jackson.

 

Where is Frank Jackson?

 

I’ve covered a lot of mayors going back to Ralph Locher. I don’t know one of them that would not have had a strong public presence in a situation as the one where 11 women have been murdered.  And where so much evidence points to an embarrassing lack of policy, execution and service from the city and its bureaucracy.

 

I don’t know any of the Mayors for more than 40 years who would not be very visible, trying to guide the city, calm the city and give it some assurance of action. I don’t know any of them who wouldn’t be consoling the residents, trying to reassure them in every way, every day that the Mayor has concerned for them, for what has happened and for a just resolution.

 

This Mayor is absent without leave. He can’t hide behind, “What is, is.”

 It won’t fly. Not this time.

 

The city’s police department has been seen as embarrassingly inept or worse, seriously unconcerned. This is his police department. They represent him.

 

The absence of the mayor is unforgivable.

 

It is symbolic of the criticism of Mayor Jackson that should have made it necessary and expected that he would have a viable rival in the just concluded election. He didn’t. He was allowed to waltz into another term. Why? Because it is clear that the corporate leadership wanted it that way.

 

That says something about the plight of the city. As much, unfortunately, as Imperial Avenue.

 

That the news media are not pressing Jackson reveals another aspect of Cleveland’s problem.

 

The headline on the front page of the New York Times today says, “After Gruesome Find, Anger at Cleveland Police.” It is a three-column front story on a day when news is dominated by a dozen or more killed at a U. S. Army Post.

 

The Times story continues for four more columns of 16 inches depth with three photos. That’s a big story for the New York Times.

 

Mayor Jackson’s name does not appear once!

 

It’s distasteful to even say, but does the Mayor even really care?

 

Jackson in a statement as part of an update on Nov. 4 on the city’s web site said, “There is still a lot of work that needs to be done and a lot of unanswered questions that need to be addressed. Until the family of victims get the closure they seek and ultimately the justice they deserve, this case will continue to be our focus. My thought, prayers and deepest condolences go out to the Carmichael family, friends and relatives.”

 

A day later in another press release (all of them less than a full page) Mayor Jackson  said, “As we continue to make progress with the identification, I want to assure the families of the missing that until they all get the closure they seek and ultimately the justice they deserve, this case will continue to be our focus. On behalf of the City of Cleveland, I offer my deepest condolences to the family, friends and relatives of the victims.”

 

That’s all there is.

 

That seems like canned PR that just doesn’t match the needs of the community at this time.

 

Just as pathetic in my mind was the gathering of ministers and the advice that the community should pray. Pray? Hell, the community out to be damned angry and expressing it.

 

There’s no leadership at the top. And there’s no leadership at the bottom.

 

What happens when that occurs? Usually, unpleasant action fills that vacuum.

 

But I think Cleveland is too dead even for that.  

 

 

 

 

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Jackson visits

WKYC is reporting that Mayor Jackson is meeting with family members and will  hold a 4 p.m. press conference. It's the first time, WKYC reported, that Jackson has visited the murder site.

jackson

 It just so happens that I am free at 4:00 to listen to Jackson tells us all about the behind the scenes activity that he has lead, from visits and conversation of a private nature with families and community leaders, to reviews of police reports, missing family reports, Martin Flask is working hard to answer why and who, etc. We can hear him tell us that while this is a great tragedy with lots of publicity, that we must respect the privacy of the families, etc. You know, it is what it is. 

The family and community leaders and regular citizens are pretty angry, and I hope that this is visible and public.

maybe American Greetings

could lend him a hand with all those condolence cards....

good ole Action Jackson... once again Cleveland is seen for "what it is"

Jackson

I'm told that yesterday when Council members met at the site that people from the neighborhood there called out for Mayor Jackson and why he hadn't visited. Of course, today he finally showed up.

It is difficult for the

It is difficult for the citizens of Cleveland to know how to take this when we don't know what happened to cause this terrible thing to happen.  11 dead woman is deplorable.  I am angry.  But who is at fault here besides the killer?  Did the police ignore the complaints of the neighbors and gloss over the complaints of the victims that got away?  If this is what happened every single person that lives in Cleveland needs to be up in arms. 

At the very least we can call and send letters to the Mayor and voice our dissatisfaction.  If something like this can happen on Imperial Avenue it can happen anywhere in this city. 

 

the NYTimes is reporting what the PeeDee won't

 check out these two stories, Ward14Resident - they are reporting and covering what we are NOT hearing in our local press:

Neighbor Says Police Knew About Rapist’s House

and

After Gruesome Find, Anger at Cleveland Police

(thank you lawrence caswell for the heads up....)

dbra, thank you for the

dbra, thank you for the links.  It is important to know the real truth. 

you're absolutely right...

 I'm assuming its all accurate - i mean the NYTimes isn't exactly the Enquirer. They tend to check their sources.

my question is - why are we not reading these reports here? is the peedee censoring their reporters?

did anyone listen to Stacho wiggle and squirm in his bloomers this morning on WCPN? He couldn't answer a question straight to save his life. a prettier dance i've not seen in quite awhile....

it does make one wonder...

Send your letters to Mayor Jackson and demand accountability

You can use this site to send a letter to Mayor Jackson.

http://www.city.cleveland.oh.us/CityofCleveland/Home/contact/mayor

jackson distraction

He says that he did not want to be a distraction, that the scene needed to be secured, that it needed to be handled professionally. OK, that is the scene. What about the people in the community and the families? 

Drug use seems to be the

Drug use seems to be the common factor of the victims.  I hope those that think that drugs are harmless take heed.  Drugs are destroying our communities. 

I sent my letter to Mayor

I sent my letter to Mayor Jackson voicing my dissatisfaction with the police response in many of the neighborhoods in the inner city of Cleveland.  I hope everyone that is not happy with the current way complaints are handled also will send a letter.  Let your voices be heard.

No Drug Safety Task Force

 It was eliminated under the current regime.  The Drug Safety Task Force stabilized neighborhoods  and allowed neighborhood conditions to improve under Mayor Mike White. 
 

 

my opinions do not necessarily reflect the opinions of my employer, my spouse, my cat, my neighbors, my extended family or anyone I happen to acknowledge on the street, bus, etc.

Time to bring it back. 

Time to bring it back. 

I just wanna say something

I just wanna say something first.  I have two friends who are caught up in crack addiction.  One of them actually lives very close to Imperial Ave.  She could easily have gotten mixed up with this killer. Another is a white female who binges on the near west side, and there are rapists and that sort who have preyed on her for similar reasons as this serial killer apparently picked out his targets -- knowing they are people the community and police don't much care about.  I want people to know that although I know full well that these two people I know, and others in that drug-addicted lifestyle, do do bad things, that they are not one-dimensional people who should be defined solely by their sad problems and inability to make right decisions to get out of their lifestyles.  I fully understand how people in that lifestyle have an MO of vanishing for long stretches of time while they are bingeing.    And I understand that the courts don't really know what to do with such people, as treatment prgrams only work when people have already decided they want to get off drugs (not every drug addict is open to treatment).   I don't know what to do to help my two friends.  But the vitims in this Sowell case remind me of them, and they are not garbage.  They are human beings who have very troubled backrounds.  And, as far as I can tell, the police are as likely to exploit them for cheap blow jobs as they are to try and help them.  

I think a lot of questions need to be asked all around.  And we need to ask ourselves questions, too.  I think the deputies, health officials, etc etc etc, all dropped the ball in this case, but I'm not here to just attack them as if I am on the high horse.  The police and others in our government are not just a reflection on the Mayor.  They are a reflection of all of us!   We all need to look in the mirror and ask why we abide our inner city neighborhoods to be in the state they are in.   Our big idea is a casino downtown, that will tempt people looking to hit a jackpot but who will more likely just blow money they can't afford to blow.  I may not know how to fix a broken city that (let's face it) is in an economic depression, but I know the focus should be on streets like Imperial.  I remember when our previous mayor, White, was all over the media when the Browns left town.  I was pretty upset when the Browns left, but the funny thing was...I found I got over it pretty quick and realize I could live without the football team.  Remmeber when Mayor White was marching around over the line, "No team, no peace"?  Imagine if we had a mayor leading us with such energy over our failed school system?  Or innovative ways to address people who have fallen into despair and turn to crack cocaine?  

I don't have the solutions as I'm not very smart.  But I don't think you'll ever solve anything in this town if our eyes are not even on the ball.  And our media seems to try and keep our eyes off of the ball. 

why bring it back?

 The drug task force was made up of officers and heads of various parts of the CPD. They did not operate in my neighborhood during the peak of crack first hitting the streets of  Cleveland. The police district had their own group of undercover (actually they wore black clothes, black knit hats and black masks) that would hit the areas. The guys in black were scary. They came with their guns out. Busts were made and a few days later new dealers moved in. The police districts wanted to make their own busts. It became a turf and political bone of contention within the CPD.

The prisons and jails are full of dealers and buyers. There isn't any room at the inn. A task force would not have made one bit of difference in the lives of the women murdered by this crazy man. Jobs and opportunities and hope would have made the difference. The prosecutor that turned away a woman who wanted to press charges against Sowell last winter missed a chance to save lives. She was told that it was her word against his, according to the woman. Her word against a convicted rapist. Maybe we need a task force to look at that.

the mantra

 One of the things that Mayor Jackson said today when he finally showed up at Imperial Ave. was that he wasn't pointing fingers, he wasn't placing blame. The local media has picked up on that and "not placing blame" has become the mantra. What a snow job. The victims are being blamed and that will grow over the next few weeks. Women have always been blamed when they are raped, always suspected of a behavior that caused this violent behavior to occur. Couple that with being a woman of color and a drug user, well, there you go. 

Will the  mantra of not placing blame be loud enough to drown out the pleas for investigation and the screams of outrage?

I suggest we all write our

I suggest we all write our letters to the Mayor and let him know that it is not okay, let him know that people do care what happens to people, even if the people are drug addicts. 

another suggestion

I think that we should write the letters to Mayor Jackson and the Council President Sweeney and also post them on realneo in a coordinated method so that we are heard collectively as well and individually. Since you started this letter writing campaign, I suggest that you start a blog entry and post your letter then the rest of us can post our letters on your blog.

We woman roar, and we can roar loudly. Men can participate as they can roar, too.

I sent my letter, but didn't

I sent my letter, but didn't copy it.  I like your suggestion but I don't think I can remember everything that I wrote.  Basically I simply voiced my dissatisfaction with the current police response to request for help.

See, the thing is, it's not

See, the thing is, it's not enough to just attack a politician.  I'll write a letter to Mayor Jackson and have it in the mail before Monday.  But we're all to blame.   A community could be (in theory) a place where we are looking out for each other and caring towards each other, etc.   But that's pretty far from how Cuyahoga County is.  

We don't care about each other enough.  How do we change THAT? 

theo669, thank you for

theo669, thank you for sending a letter to Mayor Jackson.  I think it is something we can all do to encourage better police response in the city.  Too often I hear the same complaints, the police don't respond quickly enough to stop the crime from happening and too often when they do arrive they make statements that are not helpful, for example,  blaming the victims for living here in the city.  I agree with you that just because a person has a drug problem they are not totally defined by that.  How many of us know someone that has a problem with drugs?  An addiction is a medical condition that needs treatment, but it is difficult to treat adults that do not want treatment.  It is a big problem.  I also don't have an answer.  I don't think anybody does.  My only answer would be to get rid of the drugs, get them out of our communities so no more people get addicted to them. 

If you wouldn't

If you wouldn't mind...please copy your letter and post it here to start off the letter brigade that dwebb suggested. 

Screaming in cyberspace

  As posted here--see all above:  [O]ur media seems to try and keep our eyes off of the ball. 

There is no Drug Safety Task Force....and soon we will have no schools, no churches, no libraries, no homes, no people in the neighborhoods slated to be sacrificed by the SII. 

And the Nazis were bad people?  I don't make this stuff up:

http://blog.cleveland.com/metro/2009/10/cleveland_should_avoid_investi.html

Does the Warsaw ghetto come to mind for any one?

 

 

my opinions do not necessarily reflect the opinions of my employer, my spouse, my cat, my neighbors, my extended family or anyone I happen to acknowledge on the street, bus, etc.