As a citizen of the City of Cleveland, I acknowledge the fact that we have work to do in the community I call home. Individual and collective accomplishments have failed to dim the darkness of despair we all experience, because of the blight that covers the City and the community in the form of a violence that leaves hearts broken and homes destroyed. This is unquestionably a societal failure. This is an epidemic regarding crime in the community. We cannot lay at the doorstep of any one individual, and certainly not the Mayor of our City, Frank Jackson. We cannot use the Mayor as a scapegoat. The solution rests with all of us. Unfortunately, none of us is exempt from the possibility of experiencing violence in one form or the other, directly or indirectly. In fact, Mayor Jackson now has to deal with this plague on the very doorstep of his own home. The Mayor and his family are dealing with matters concerning a grandson charged with various domestic violence crimes. Critics of the Mayor claim that charges against the Mayor’s grandson are somehow a reflection of the Mayor and his inability to run his own home questioning his ability to operate as the Executive Officer for the City of Cleveland. Further claims have surfaced that the Mayor is involving himself in the investigation of his grandson and is subsequently interfering with said investigation.
In an open recorded interview, the Mayor stated explicitly that he did not interfere, and would not interfere. He further stated that, “a process is in place and that as with all other cases; he was relying on the integrity of the officials involved”. It was further alleged that the Mayor instructed police officers to turn off their cameras. The Mayor adamantly denies such a claim and states, “that every officer should perform their duties according to procedures”. As these matters related to his involvement, the Mayor stated that, “Ignorance to facts is fertile ground for the manipulation of truth...” He moreover stated that, “expectations of our Government officials should not change regardless”.
On a personal note, I am not in any way condoning violence in any form against anyone, in particular against our children, our elderly or our women. I hold these fragile souls in high esteem and regard. They must be regarded among the most precious of our gifts from God. We must strive to protect the future of all of our children, strive to preserve to the best of our ability the remaining years of our elderly and cherish the God given beauty of the very existence of our women. The Mayor is not responsible for the actions of his grandson. The Mayor is however responsible for the City of Cleveland. In my opinion, he has met the challenge with noteworthy accomplishments such as the revitalization of our schools and communities, (new schools have been constructed), and the infrastructure of our City has been reinforced with years of future tax revenues flowing into City coffers from sports franchises such as the Cleveland Browns; the Cleveland Indians and the Cleveland Cavaliers. Under his leadership, the label ‘a mistake on the lake’ has been changed and we’re now seen as a beacon of hope with a promising future for generations to come. Under the Mayor’s leadership, we have come to see ourselves as more than bricks and mortar, glass and steel. We are a community tied together in a common bond building a better future for our families.
Let us not judge this situation in the absence of ‘Due Process.’ Let us not come to our own conclusions in the absence of all of the facts and this most vital process. This is indeed a process that should not be lost or set aside; deleted, depleted or replaced with anything contrary to that which is not only Constitutional in our system of Justice, but renders a just treatment for all. In the African American community, we should not rush to judgment but wait until all of the facts are rendered; ‘Due Process. It is therefore incumbent upon all of us to allow this process its place and performance. It is incumbent upon us as a Faith based community to pray for the victim, the Mayor, his family, and all others as this matter takes its journey through ‘Due Process and as crime affects all of us it also effects the mayor.’