Nearly Half of All Charges from Cleveland May 30 Demonstrations Have Been Dropped

click to enlarge EMANUEL WALLACE / SCENE
Emanuel Wallace / Scene
Adam Ferrise at cleveland.com has reported that 53 out of 120 total cases stemming from the May 30 racial justice demonstrations in downtown Cleveland have been dropped by local judges.

Many of the dismissed cases involved violations of Mayor Frank Jackson's curfew. A U.S. District Court Judge ruled last month that simply being downtown after the curfew was not sufficient probable cause to arrest. (Judge Patricia Gaughan ruled that two Pennsylvania men who were arrested downtown that night — these were the out-of-state agitators Police Chief Calvin Williams was eager to promote — were not disobeying a police order when they were arrested.)

Ferrise noted that 10 defendants have pled guilty to the curfew charges and received only fines. Twenty-five of the 49 pending cases are also curfew-related and, given Gaughan's ruling, judges and prosecutors are likely to drop them or impose fines as opposed to jail time.

Cleveland Municipal Court Judge Mike Nelson, who has dismissed a number of cases himself, said that he believed Judge Gaughan's ruling could just as well apply to anybody arrested on May 30, "whether it was related to the incident in front of her court or not."

***
Sign up for Scene's weekly newsletters to get the latest on Cleveland news, things to do and places to eat delivered right to your inbox.
 

About The Author

Sam Allard

Sam Allard is the Senior Writer at Scene, in which capacity he covers politics and power and writes about movies when time permits. He's a graduate of the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University and the NEOMFA at Cleveland State. Prior to joining Scene, he was encamped in Sarajevo, Bosnia, on an...
Scroll to read more Cleveland News articles
Join the Cleveland Scene Press Club

Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state.
Help us keep this coverage going with a one-time donation or an ongoing membership pledge.

Newsletters

Join Cleveland Scene Newsletters

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.