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professional and citizen archivists collecting stories of police violence in Cleveland

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archivists in town for a national meeting collaborating with PTS to record stories of police…

20150819_ZOOM0006.mp3 This is what happened. A few days ago – I’m going to tell a recent story that got me in court today – I was getting off the transit. I had two brand-new passes and money but the RTA man, the RTA transit, whatever you call the guy – because I’m from out of state – decided that he wanted to pick me out the crowd to mess with. So he said, “Well, you don’t have your fare.” I showed him my cards and my money and my green card and he still got smart. As if he had a bone to pick with me or if he was just having a bad day, whatever the case may be, but he just pulled me to the side…

20150819-135532.mp3 Kellen Turner: You know I had a friend that was shot down by the police in Philadelphia, shot in his back about 9 times. And they said he had a gun but he did not have a gun. All because they asked him to turn around and he kept walking. And they shot him 9 times. And they said that somebody said that he had a gun, which they found out that he did not have a gun, and they was ushering people in the houses, [indistinct] out to see ‘cause they was trying to put one down there, which in result years later his mom received one of the highest paid settlements in Philadelphia history. Terry…

20150819-135120.mp3 TB: Okay… DS: Say my name? TB: You don’t need to… DS: Oh, well? TB: You can if you want to. DS: One time, my brother and my little cousin, they went to…I don’t know what they were doing. All I know is that before they got arrested, the police beat both of them up, threw them down on the ground, like three or four times, and they arrested them after they roughed them up a little bit. Making them chase…I guess for making them chase them and…just making them chase them. TB: Huh… DS: They just beat them up. They said they had a cuff on and one cop was punching them and the other…

20150819-120003.mp3 Interviewee: Joey Malone (JM) Interviewer: Terry Baxter (TB) TB: Perfect, ok. JM: Ok. So yeah, I guess the closest thing I’ve come into contact with as far as one-on-one police brutality is when my mom was arrested… TB: uh, huh JM:  Um, we were in Lakewood (?), it was really late, she was dropping a friend of mine off because she didn’t have a ride and *laughs* she’s a gil TB: Right, right right. JM: So me and my mom being worried, um, she didn’t know that her license was suspended, so when she got pulled over she ended up being arrested. They towed her car. And they were just…

https://s3.amazonaws.com/omeka-net/18940/archive/files/212968d25b27a6d08b1f667815deed67.MP3 Interviewee: Unnamed (A) Interviewers: Unnamed (B) B: You can either say your name or you don’t have to say your name. You don’t have to say your name if you don’t want to, but if you could just go on record saying you don’t mind us recording you, that’d be great. A: I’ve seen the police change in my day. But they’ve been kinda rowdy. But that’s the [time?] you know. How can you control people unless you have some authority? So they have to take some kind of authoritative position besides just their uniforms. So, that’s what they do. And they favor the ones who put them in…

https://s3.amazonaws.com/omeka-net/18940/archive/files/6c1e64b987064884a9e654c597f98865.MP3 I’m sorry, do you mind if… okay. Okay. These little boys, they was about, uh, this tall, they was about thirteen, fourteen, and fifteen. And two of them had guns. They had just robbed a man on 131st. So they came in front of my house. Little bitch boy next door, he’s a little bitch boy, and they come over to hang out at his house, make him go get Kool-Aid, and he’s a little bitch. So they take his, they took his phone, and his mother – he’s his mother’s prince. She kisses his ass. She think he pisses ginger ale. So – I’m telling you what it is. Don’t get… you shouldn’t…

https://s3.amazonaws.com/omeka-net/18940/archive/files/99a6b2d26efcb9ab58914eb2c18b3935.MP3 You don’t have to share your name if you don’t want, or if you want to, that’s fine. You could just say… can you just say that we’re okay to record you? Sure. Of course.                 Okay. Yeah, well, what has your experience been? Well I haven’t had a bad experience…                 What’s your opinion? I feel, um, I feel like they can do better. I feel like, you know, we as people can do better as well, but they definitely need to do much better. It starts, I mean, it starts with them, you know, they’re supposed to protect us and they gotta…

https://s3.amazonaws.com/omeka-net/18940/archive/files/6f708f21b1bf9ccbe30802674fcb65f9.MP3 I’ll tell it straight right from me because I work a lot so I just tell it straight right from me.                 Do you know anyone personally, or have heard of, who have had experiences where they’ve had experience with the police? Yeah, all the people that have the experience with them, people I know, they done left Cleveland. They say they can’t deal with them no more so they left Cleveland.                 Or their experiences. I mean, they got pulled over. I assume they got pulled over, handcuffed, and slammed to the ground just for a traffic ticket.…

https://s3.amazonaws.com/omeka-net/18940/archive/files/23febaaaf27fde465d7e188d7f28eefb.MP3 Interviewee: [Indistinct. Fades into interview] ...Watching the news and all that stuff and I’m [indistinct]. You know I’ve been watching the news and I ain’t really comfortable with it. You know how, you know, I mean, to me, honestly I’ve been around a long time so my thing is all these [indistinct] police as a legal gang. Honestly. I mean, I don’t know nobody else’s pay, but that’s my view: a legal gang. ‘cause they get away with a lot of stuff and they’ve been doing it for years. And ain’t nobody really gettin’ on nobody until, you know, really got it on the news and…

https://s3.amazonaws.com/omeka-net/18940/archive/files/1418e69d4c94bd9b70175ab2bb210f36.MP3 Interviewee: [Fades into interview] There’s a lot of violence going on. Now, I do have an opinion. I don’t think that whites should be policing our neighborhoods. Who better to handle our people than our own people? Interviewer: That’s true. Interviewee: You see what I’m saying? People send the brothers on the westside where there ain’t nothing going on. And send the white boys over here where [indistinct, wind blowing], but if we got some brothers over here that’s gonna look out for us, you know, even cut us slack a time or two. Everybody don’t need to go to jail for what’s…

https://s3.amazonaws.com/omeka-net/18940/archive/files/9e234f0f982e922ce40325caf13c21a5.MP3 TRELLA: Watch the news and I’ve seen and heard a lot. And I’ve known of other people that have had personal encounters with the police, and not so good. One instance was a friend of mine and there was an accident, and it involved one of the Cleveland policeman. And he was intoxicated, you know. JARRETT: The policeman was?  TRELLA: Yeah, he was intoxicated. And so you know, here my girlfriend was you know, she was involved in this accident, she’s all shook up and of course they call the police. Well when the other police came up and saw, you know, their buddy, a fellow policeman,…

https://s3.amazonaws.com/omeka-net/18940/archive/files/e0f26e2b9d72f646048b9c238f550241.MP3 MT: We are recording. It's August 19, 2015. Do you want to give your name? JH: Yes, my name is James Holman. Yes, the police has been tolerating people's behavior. Should've been throwing people out of the bus and stuff. All of that. Man, cussing peoples out and all types of stuff. All downtown and all in Public Square. And I've been trying to do a good job and trying to protect the public. And they're not doing nothing about it. And I want something done about it. MT: So has this happened to you on the bus? JH: Yes, with the bus drivers. It's on camera and stuff. MT: Okay. And it's been…

20150819_ZOOM0003.mp3 Transcript: Interviewee: Drake, Jarrett (JD) Interviewer: Unnamed (B) B: I watched this movie last night, NWA, standing for Niggers With Attitude. And they came out with this song, “Eff the police,” and he was speaking the truth, speaking the truth about brutality, and how they treat African American men no matter you were a rapper or if you had a job, they still came to you as if they was a thug out here on the street – nothing going on with your life. I respect that what these gentlemen are out here doing because you cannot judge me by my color, you cannot judge me they way I walk out…

20150819_ZOOM0008.mp3 Interviewer:  OK.  So today is August 19, 2015.  And do you want your name recorded or not? Interviewee:   No. And it’s just protocol and attitude adjustment and it’s just an adult’s job…adults do what they have to do especially when we talking about authorities and figure of speaking…and law making…its part of protocol. And it just needs some attitude adjustment around it.  Other than that, grown-ups can do what grown-ups can do.  They got weapons…the citizens and civilians don’t.  So they more in a position to take a person’s life before…preventive…