Welcome! This free speech community journal was created so the Maple Heights African American community could share videos, photos, events, articles, posts, ideas, thoughts, and information.  We're now exclusively on Facebook, so don't forget to also check out our Facebook page.  Have a fantastic day!

Saturday, June 21, 2014


Several residents (who attended) stated  that at the last Maple Hts city council meeting, the police were videotaping the meeting.

What does this mean if true? Well, police videotapes, we would think, constitute public record and are kept in police departments for various people  to access (especially the police).  Would you feel comfortable talking about police abuse/misconduct/racism/cutting police  salary/benefits at a council meeting knowing the police had your name, face, address, your statements, etc. forever stored? 

We don't have a problem with members of council videotaping for educational purposes, or council for public record; or even the general public videotaping a council meeting.  There does appear to be a big problem when it is done by the police.

African Americans should be engaged in any discussion of the videotaping of any public meetings (in their community) by the police, and if found unconstitutional/violation of their civil rights/civil liberties  then the videotaping by them (law enforcement)   should be challenged, stopped and if necessary legal remedies sought. 

As stated in another post, any predominantly African American community (city) where the legal/judicial system (which includes l aw director, council, safety director, law enforcement)  is predominantly white, probably (but not always) means institutional racism is entrenched in your community (city). 

The law enforcement community   has already been faced with outrage over privacy rights violations, racial profiling, stop and frisk,  murder, excessive force, and now they could possibly face a charge of public or racial intimidation by videotaping at public meetings (?)

African American communities have allowed institutional racism to continue in their communities sometimes for fear of retribution and/or intimidation by law enforcement and the legal/judicial system.  Well, it seems Maple Heights police may have driven that point home.


Anonymous said...

I wonder who is behind this?

Anonymous said...

Montello is on vacation, Melling shows up and the videotaping by police starts.

What's the Maple Heights community going to do about it?

Anonymous said...

Maple Hts city council also needs to be alarmed. Whatever they say about the police will also be kept by the police forever.

Anonymous said...

The safety forces, mayor, law director/asst law director, most of council are of European ancestry and they probably think they can get away with this kind of thing in a predominantly Black community. Well, it's time for things to change. You pay em, it's time to fire em.

Anonymous said...

Was told this was a one time thing. Doesn't matter .. it shouldn't have happened.

Anonymous said...




Anonymous said...

Skinny has it that someone ordered the videotaping of the council meeting because Councilman Brownlee was upset at a committee of the whole council meeting June 16th. There was no criminal activity at that meeting, and there as never been any criminal activity regarding Councilman Brownlee at any meetings; however, someone decided that the police should videotape the June 18th council meeting.

This certainly does rise to the level of police intimidation tactics, since there was absolutely no criminal cause to do so.

Maple Heights has had some spirited council meetings with members of council yelling, screaming, etc in the past; yet, no one I can think of has ever been removed by the police. This stinks to high heaven.

Anonymous said...

As to the above comment ..
"Maple Heights has had some spirited council meetings with members of council yelling, screaming, etc in the past; yet, no one I can think of has ever been removed by the police."

... nor had police videotape council meetings ..

Anonymous said...

It's simple. Councilman Brownlee takes the time to research/do his homework and has a pretty good grasp of matters before council. He's not always right, but damn close to being right.

The rest of the them don't seem to be on the same level.

For instance (from the Maple Heights News):
" A Charter Amendment has been introduced, by Mayor Lansky and Councilman Adams, to reduce the Income tax credit from 100% to 25%. Who will this effect? Any Maple Heights resident who pays income tax and works outside the city. Right now these residents receive a credit when they file their income tax for 100% of the amount that is withheld from their paycheck for the city they work in and then if that city’s rate is less than Maple Heights 2.5% income tax they pay the difference to Maple Heights. For example, if you work in a city where the rate is 2%, 2% is withheld from your paycheck and then you pay the remaining .5% to the city. If this Charter Amendment were to pay this same person would pay 2% to the city they work in, the .5% difference to Maple Heights and an additional 1.5% to Maple Heights (because now instead of getting a 100% credit for that 2% paid to the city they work in they are only getting a 25% credit) bringing their income tax to 4%. Most city’s have a 100% credit and those who have less have a smaller income tax rate to start with (RITA Income Tax Rat Table). If this ordinance is passed by Council, residents will [see] it on the November Ballot."

Looks like the mayor and Adams and all who agree are messing with resident public employees and letting non resident public employees off the hook. Guess who most of the non resident public employees are? Police and fire and high paid directors.

Mind you Adams has always declared he was a union man, and the mayor probably wants to stay on the good side of the police unions [campaign/election endorsements].

Anonymous said...

What does the mayor have to gain by pissing off resident (public employees)voters?

Anonymous said...

I mean what does he have to gain pissing off residents who work outside Maple Heights? Doesn't seem like a smart idea if you're going to run again for a Maple Heights public office.

Anonymous said...

Probably would make sense if you're going to run for an Ohio (or other than Maple Hts) office and you need some union backing.

Anonymous said...

"reduce the Income tax credit from 100% to 25%"

This applies to all residents who work outside the city.

Anonymous said...

Councilman Bill Brownlee videotapes council meetings, etc for educational purposes. They are not public record.

The police state they are videotaping because the councilman may edit his videos. So what .. The councilman's videos are his own and for educational purposes and not public record.

The police videotaping would be public record and as such could be construed as public intimidation and a civil liberties issue.

Maple Hts lawyers have lost in court before because they don't seem to have a good grasp on what's constitutional and what isn't. Something tells me this may end up in some high court at great expense to the residents in Maple Heights (esp. if the police continue to use this very transparent tactic).

Anonymous said...

We all know certain people who work for the city don't like that one of the council people videotapes council meetings, etc for educational purposes.
These same people don't like that they were embarrassed by channel 19 picking up a story of the council president having the police escort the same councilman out of a council meeting, and the law director caught on tape taking the councilman's camera down. If you go to the councilman's youtube page (Maple Heights News), you can actually hear what the law director said (you won't hear it on the channel 19 video).

The seniors, shut-in, people who missed a council meeting and people who love to see gov't in action love that the meetings are videotaped. The councilman meant for the tapes to be educational, and they are.

Someone down at city hall probably decided that they were going to get even w the councilman for embarrassing them on channel 19. By having the police videotape, it looks like their sticking it to the councilman. It's called payback, a "How do you like that bitch?" thing.

If that's what's happening here, the people engaged in this kind of payback behavior are so childish/immature and should not be part of Maple Hts government. In any case, videotaping by the police is wrong.

The voters in Maple Hts need to get a whole bunch of those ridiculous folks off council, the mayor out of his seat, and then the rest of those immature (can't balance a checkbook) people will follow.

Anonymous said...

Channel 19 edited the councilman's videotape of the council meeting he was kicked out of, not Councilman Brownlee. You can see council meetings and other meetings in full, except on the date the law director removed the councilman's video camera.

Maple Heights is just trying to find some way to stop Councilman Brownlee from videotaping.

A suggestion ... if council or Maple Hts lawyers succeed in stopping the videotaping, get the media involved. The Reporter's Committee would be very interested, as would the Sunlight Foundation and Common Cause. There's probably a lot of organizations that would love to jump in and put these cops, lawyers, and various members of council in their proper place.