Activists, Others To Rally Over Heights Curfew Law Mon, July 18 at 6:45 pm At Cleveland Hts City Hall, Will Meet With Sen. Smith

Submitted by JournalistKathy... on Sat, 07/16/2011 - 11:08.

 Innocent Black male children under arrest elsewhere by police for protesting, a scenario that might meet home in Cleveland Hts, Oh. if a curfew law that allows police to arrest Black and other children for protesting on issues of public concern without first contacting police remains in effect. The controversial curfew law also allows Cleveland Hts. police to arrest children under 18 for eating at restaurants or otherwise patronizing businesses after 6 p.m. in the Cedar-Lee Business District and the business district that stretches across Coventry Road between Mayfield Rd and Euclid Hts Blvd. 


State Sen Shirley Smith (D-21), a Cleveland Democrat whose district includes Cleveland Hts. Smith has not yet voiced a position publicly on the controversial curfew law that many community activists oppose but at the request of community activist groups and other community members has agreed to meet to hear their concerns to take them back to Cleveland Hts Mayor Edward Kelley and Cleveland Hts. City Council.

Cleveland NAACP Executive Director Stanley Miller. The leader of the local branch of the nation's most historical and respected Civil Rights organization says that the curfew law hurts the Black community and that the 6 p.m. deadline for children not to patronize restaurants and other businesses in select areas of the city of Cleveland Hts . or get arrested  is ludicrous.


Community activist groups, including The Imperial Women, Stop Targeting Ohio's Poor, The Greater Cleveland Immigrant Support Network, The Lucasville Uprising Freedom Network and The Spot Youth Empowerment Organization will rally with other community groups at 6:45 p.m. Mon, July 18 in front of Cleveland Hts City Hall, 40 Severance Circle, because of a curfew law that Cleveland Hts. City Council adopted two weeks ago. Activists  say the law  targets Black children and strips all children, regardless of race, ethnicity or gender, of a host of constitutional rights by giving police the authority to arrest them if they eat at restaurants or otherwise patrinize businesses after 6 pm in the Cedar-Lee Business District and the business district that stretches across Coventry Rd. and is between Mayfield Rd. and Euclid Hts Bld. 

The curfew law also has a provision that requires that kids contact police before holding any protests on issues of public concern, a provision that has James L. Hardiman, Legal Director for the America Civil Liberties Union and Vice President of the Cleveland NAACP, crying foul as a violation of the free speech clause of the First Amendment. And the law gives police discretion to pick and choose what children to arrest if it is broken, a measure that community activists say heightens the risk that young Black men and boys will be victimized by a public policy ordinance that is outright racist. 

After the 6:45 p.m. rally activists groups will attend the Cleveland Hts. City Council meeting at 7:30 pm that same evening to call for the curfew law at issue to be dropped from the books. And on Tuesday the groups will meet from 5:30 pm - 7:00 pm at Aribica Coffee House University Circle, 11300 Juniper Rd in Cleveland, with State Sen. Shirley Smith (D-21), a Cleveland Democrat whose district includes Cleveland Hts. The meeting is open to the public and Smith's office number is 614- 466-4857.

Smith, who says her role is to protect the interests of the larger community including children and city businesses and has not yet voiced a stance on the controversial and unprecedented curfew law publicly, said that she will listen to community concerns at Tuesday's meeting and take them back to Cleveland Hts Mayor Ed Kelley and City Council representatives.

Contacts for the rally are Imperial Women Leader Kathy Wray Coleman at 216-932-3114, Black on Black Crime Community Activist Denise Taylor at 216-548-3884 and Imperial Women and Stop Targeting Ohio's Poor Member Valerie Robinson at 216-321-1677. William Clarence Marshall, a member of The Carl Stokes Brigade, will also lead the rally, one that community activists say is necessary to protect the constitutional and statutory rights of the community's children from the arbitrary and capricious abuse of power by a runaway Cleveland Hts. City Council. 

The controversial curfew law, which is actually an amendment to a general curfew law that has been around for decades, gives police the authority to arrest any child under 18 that is caught patronizing or otherwise in the area in the business districts of consequence after 6 pm without a parent or guardian, or a valid excuse such as an emergency with written parental consent. 

The problem though is that since a predominantly Black crowd of youth is the impetus behind the legislation, it could violate the equal protection clause of the Fourteenth Amendment by targeting Black children.

"This protest is needed because the legislation is unfair to Black kids and children in general," said Valerie Robinson, a White member of The Imperial Women and other activist groups who is a retired elementary school teacher who lives in Cleveland Hts with her husband, Dr. Stewart Robinson, also a community activist. "Though the legislation applies to all kids under 18, it is pretty obvious that it is aimed at Black children."

The unprecedented law, also known as a city ordinance, comes on the heals of what media and some others have deemed flash mobs, or large gatherings of youth, including a recent festival that drew some 1500 of them  to the middle class city and resulted in a few fights. And the Cleveland Hts. city manager, who is now Robert C. Downey, has been given independent leeway via another provision of the curfew law to name other city venues where children would be arrested if they patronize them or are caught in the area after 6 pm. General curfew requirements in the city, absent a few exceptions like school activities and theater, require children 12 and under in by dark, unless with a parent or guardian, those 13, 14 and 15 in by 10:30 p.m., and teens 16 and 17 in by midnight. 

Cleveland NAACP Executive Director Stanley Miller is also weighing in saying the law is not good for the Black community and that a 6 p.m. curfew for teens relative to the business districts at issue is ludicrous and unreasonable. 

The Heights Community Congress, Revolution Books, Black on Black Crime and a host of other organizations have debated the issue over the past week with some members of the groups favoring the unprecedented legislation and others calling it irresponsible and commensurate to the days when Blacks would not be served at Woolworth's lunch counters, activity that helped to spark the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960's, one led by the late Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. 

In addition to Coleman and Valerie and Stewart Robinson other community members supporting the rally include Willie Stokes, Denise Taylor, Brett Jackson, Abdul Quahhar, Sharon Danann, Jean Whitte, Marva Patterson, William Clarence Marshall, Angelique Cunningham, C. Cunningham, Tina Bronaugh, Destini Bronaugh, Nia Perry- Richardson, Lavora Perry-Richardson, Frances Caldwell, Betty Brown, Linda Jones, Bill Swain, Carol Fisher, Mark Jefferson, Priscilla Cooper, Ada Averyhardt  and Taralawanda Aaron.

Cleveland Hts, with a population of some 40,000 residents, is roughly 50 percent White and 42 percent Black, U.S. Census Reports reveal It. borders numerous cities, including Shaker Hts, University Hts., South Euclid and the predominantly Black cities of Cleveland and E. Cleveland. 

 Journalist and Community Activist Kathy Wray Coleman can be reached at either 216-932-3114 or ktcoleman8 [at] aol [dot] com.

Journalist and Community Activist Kathy Wray Coleman can be reached at 216-932-3114 and ktcoleman8 [at] aol [dot] com.
Journalist and Community Activist Kathy Wray Coleman can be reached at 216-932-3114 and ktcoleman8 [at] aol [dot] com.
Journalist and Community Activist Kathy Wray Coleman can be reached at 216-932-3114 and ktcoleman8 [at] aol [dot] com.

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No one wants to touch this issue

Thanks for keeping this in the public eye here on REALNEO.  I can't say that I have a solution, but your concerns are warranted. 

I can also see concerns about policing any large group behavior.  There has to be a solution that will address community concerns.  In my youth, I stopped attending events that attracted large groups of people, because the opportunity for violence to occur was too palpable.  I was almost crushed at a concert in Cincinnati.

Concerts are powder keg events and so are festivals of any kind.   We need a sensible discussion on this topic.  From my perspective, the issue is less based on race discrimination, and more on age discrimination. 

We don't like kids and teens in America.  We don't know what to do with them as they find their way into adulthood.

Than you for often

Than you for often supporting what I write. The Cleveland Hts issue is serious as to the long term impact, and it will hurt children both Black and White alike. I dare them say that kids cannot eat at a restaurant after 6 pm  when the U.S. Supreme Court has made it clear that children have constitutional and staturtory rights too, including Black children--Kathy Wray Coleman

CH mob-Bad Behavior

 Kathy--is it possible for us to agree that mob madness is a bad behavior?  Is so, how do we move to change "bad behaviors" in our society?

When does free speech become irresponsible?  I highly doubt that there was a political message mixed in with the mob, but I would be curious to hear from the kids involved--what their expectations were of their own behavior.


Control Yutes (my brother vinny), Curfew Kids' Cell Phones


The Cleveland Heights City Council is just reacting with a knee jerk to new social media – just as the governing bodies in the middle east, China, and elsewhere are reacting to the new social media.
The Cleveland Heights City Council, Cleveland Heights Police, and others responsible for maintaining "law and order" (and the status quo), are understandably, scared by the new social media.    
When every youth (and everyone else of all ages) has a cell phone, an army can be assembled and strategically deployed within just a few minutes.
Cleveland Heights is using an old fashioned strategy (“age” based curfew in certain select commercial zones – or kids need to bring a written note from their mother explaining that the kid is on an emergency trip to the drug store for Mom’s migrane) when the strategy that Cleveland Heights should be using is a technology based strategy.
The Technology strategy is - just turn off the kids’ cell phone service at 6:00pm.   Keep it Simple, Stupid (the KISS philosophy).
Here’s how it will work:
Cleveland Heights would hire Google to profile the age (could also profile ethnicity, political preference, religion, economic status, etc, etc) of every IP based communicater in each cell phone GIS location in Cleveland Heights. 
When the ambient air temperature (hot summer months) in any one of those GIS zones was above the youth trouble temperature, Google (in cooperation with Homeland Security and all the telephone companies) would simply pull the plug on the smart phones of the targeted youth.
This program would be a beta in the US and would allow Cleveland Heights to assert itself as the leader in social media moderation and control.   Cleveland Heights would become the Silicon Valley of social control for the World.   The Chinese government would send researchers and digital techs to Cleveland Heights, and these new, well funded, highly educated professionals would buy/rent up the empty housing in Cleveland Heights.
Soon, the Center for the Study of Social Control would be bigger than NASA Lewis and re-purpose the  NELA campus – pushing the Social Control progress into East Cleveland.   Youth in East Cleveland will be hired to provide real world proof of concept in wide ranging internet based social control studies.
We all have to keep firmly in mind that Flash Mobs are OK if it means that 60,000 PAYING mind washed Dawgs show up at a Browns game, and TV driven flash mobs are OK if they show up at Dave’s to buy 30 packs of Bud – but when the Madison Avenue /commercial media are relegated to meaninglessness by kids with twitter, then that’s pretty scary – out of control really!
But then again, maybe flash mobs are something adults should 2,000 unemployed citizens showing up at City Hall out of nowhere...or maybe a flash mob of a 100,000 Cuyahoga County taxpayers could decend on the Stadium and recycle it. 
Anyway, I have to work on the draft of the Internet Social Control ordinance to pass in Cleveland Heights.


I must admit that I am a

I must admit that I am a child advocate first. Social media is interesting and pulling the plugs on cell phones of children  is a free speech violation too. Chidren have many of the constitutional and statutory rights that we have as adults--Kathy Wray Coleman

pulling the plugs on cell phones of children is a free speech

 Absolutely right Ms. Coleman.  

My prior comment is a forecast of what is to come...a parody  prediction of how our constitutional rights will be soon effectively  abridged technoligically.

read me backwards please...




The rally is being called by

The rally is being called by adults. As a former educator, I am cautious about calling children to any venue in the absence of parental permission and am not doing so in this instance, though an activist student, 15, will be coming with her mother. --Kathy Wray Coleman--216-932-3114