Black mob violence has marred for several years the annual holiday celebrations in the Cleveland suburb of Bedford. Almost none of which made its way to the local media. But the city council heard an earful from local residents following last year’s holiday violence.
They reported that 50 to 80 black people were hitting people in the face and disrupting the festival and surrounding areas.
“Police officers used pepper ball pellets and a taser,” said city council minutes from a special meeting in August 2012.“Even the Wal-Mart and Get-Go store had to be closed for three hours.”
“The mayor was shocked by what he had witnessed,” said the minutes. The mayor assured the audience that Bedford was “not the only city that had these types of problems.” People were “traveling from city to city just causing problems.”
Because Bedford no longer has a daily newspaper, the city sent out a “Code Red” message warning residents of the violence and lawlessness that was “out of control” at their event. Three surrounding police agencies were called in to quell the violence.
The fire chief said his people were not armed or trained for this kind of activity.
Some of the residents complained of “political correctness” that prevented them from talking about what really happened. City manager Henry Angelo did not deny that black mobs were responsible for the violence. But he did say it was “contemptuous” that anyone would notice.
In 2009, Bedford went through the same public examination after similar violence the year before: Said one local columnist at Cleveland.com :
But there was an elephant in the room that was only barely acknowledged and it had nothing to do with money, nor the reticence of Bedford Heights.
Following the fireworks display in 2008, groups of teenagers, many from Maple Heights, Warrensville Heights and Cleveland, started fights in incidents that some who were there said was tantamount to a riot.
Bedford is known as the home of Archibald MacNeal Willard, the artist who created the iconic fife and drum painting,“Spirit of ’76.” But in the end, even Willard could not save the fireworks of Bedford and the city council canceled it after deciding it was just too dangerous.
Another Cleveland suburb, Shaker Heights, also canceled Fourth of July fireworks.
“There have been problems in maintaining order and dealing with huge numbers of young people who have shown up through social media at the fireworks and who have been disruptive,” said Mayor Earl Leiken to the Shaker Heights Patch.
Bedford and Shaker Heights were not the first cities in Ohio to cancel their fireworks because of racial violence. Just the latest. Prior to this year, Euclid and Warrensville Heights also canceled their celebrations after extended experiences with violence.
Shaker Heights had enough. This year they said no more.
So did the residents of the Minneapolis suburb of Richfield. Black mob violence has plagued that city’s Independence Day party since 2006, said police chief Chief Todd Sandell. According to mssun.com :
“Police responded to significant gang activity the night of July 4 at Veterans Park, the site of the carnival.”
According to the memo, nine street gangs were identified in the park, as Richfield police responded to 19 “calls for service” that included disorderly conduct, assault and weapons violations.”
As these and other cities canceled their fireworks and surrounding parties, other cities such as Baltimore are gearing up to prepare for the annual violence.