Muslim civil rights group calls on people of all faiths to join rally tonight outside Cleveland City Hall
(CLEVELAND, OH, 12/8/14) -- The Cleveland chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-Cleveland) today joined the call by religious leaders to attend a peaceful rally outside Cleveland City Hall this evening to push for police reforms.
CAIR-Cleveland is also calling on all people of conscience to join with the New Abolitionist Association of the Children's Defense Fund to attend tonight's Cleveland City Council meeting after the rally to demand accountability on the part of City Council in implementing needed reforms to the Cleveland Division of Police.
"Systemic reforms are necessary in light of the finding by the U.S. Department of Justice that the Cleveland Division of Police engages in a pattern and practice of unconstitutional use of excessive force in violation of the Fourth Amendment," said CAIR-Cleveland Executive Director Julia Shearson.
"As concerned citizens, it is incumbent on each and every one of us to play our part in helping make sure we have constitutional and bias-free policing in the City of Cleveland," said Shearson. "The inescapable findings in the DOJ report are a catalyst to help break through the status quo and demand real change.
SEE: US Department of Justice Report on the Investigation of the Cleveland Division of Police
CAIR Welcomes AG Holder's Announcement on Cleveland Police 'Use-of-Force Incidents'
Justice Department wants sweeping changes in Cleveland Police Department; report finds "systemic deficiencies"
WHAT: Rally for Police Accountability and Reform
WHO: The Cleveland Clergy Alliance, the Federation of Network Ministry, the Carnegie Roundable, the New Abolitionists Association, and many other religious groups, union leaders, and other community groups, including the local anchors of the Bill of Rights Defense Committee, of which CAIR-Cleveland is a founding member.
WHEN: Monday, December 8, 2014, 6 p.m.; City Council Meeting, 7 p.m.
WHERE: Free Stamp at 9th and Lakeside Avenue, Cleveland, Ohio
CONTACT: CAIR-Cleveland Executive Director Julia Shearson, 216.830.2247, firstname.lastname@example.org
CAIR has a long history of engagement with the Cleveland Police Department through helping with training on diverse communities, as well as training on immigrant victims of domestic violence and serving as a liaison between the Muslim community and law enforcement. Over the past weekend CAIR-Cleveland joined with local and national civil and human rights groups to co-host a forum on police shootings in the wake of the fatal shooting by police of Tamir Rice, a 12-year-old boy, who was playing with a soft-pellet gun outside a local recreation center in that city. More than 150 people and dozens of organizations and community leaders attended.
CAIR recently called for a "national action" to address issues of racism in the aftermath of a Missouri grand jury's decision to not indict the officer who shot Michael Brown. CAIR also questioned the "problematic" grand jury process that resulted in a failure to indict the officer.
CAIR is America's largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization. Its mission is to enhance the understanding of Islam, encourage dialogue, protect civil liberties, empower American Muslims, and build coalitions that promote justice and mutual understanding.
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CONTACT: CAIR-Cleveland Executive Director Julia Shearson, 216.830.2247, email@example.com; CAIR National Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper, 202.744.7726, firstname.lastname@example.org; CAIR Communications Manager Amina Rubin, 202.341.4171, email@example.com