MANSFIELD: Something Is Rotten in Euclid

Would the National Rifle Association hire an attorney that had on numerous occasions sued to limit gun rights in America to defend its interests? Of course not. Would Planned Parenthood hire an attorney that had sued on numerous occasions to put them out of business to represent their organization? Are you serious? Hell no!

Both of those questions cross the line from the ridiculous to the ludicrous. Yet the law department in Euclid, OH has hired a Mayfield Heights attorney known for his defense of police officers who find themselves in trouble to serve as a special prosecutor in the case of a Euclid cop that was fired for beating a motorist in that city. Yes, you read that right: The lawyer, Dominic Vitantonio, who earns a substantial part of his living defending police officers, will determine if disgraced former Euclid cop Michael Amiott (who was fired for the severe beating he laid on Richard Hubbard III, that was captured on video), will face charges for the misdemeanor attack.

We all know what the outcome of this charade will be. Does anyone with a shred of common sense expect Vitantonio to kill off part of his income stream from defending rogue cops by ruling against Amiott? Didn’t Kelly Sweeny, the City of Euclid law director, consider this before hiring Vitantonio? If she didn’t, then she’s too dumb to be practicing law, and if she did, then she’s too insensitive to the black residents of Euclid to be in the position she’s in. She should be somewhere representing the Ku Klux Klan or rabid white nationalists.

There’s simply no way the decision to hire Vitantonio can be justified, considering how long the list of attorneys registered with the Cuyahoga County Bar Association happens to be. Indeed, since that list is so long, the hiring of Vitantonio obviously is no accident, it was done by design to send a message to black Euclid residents: “Fuck you, you’re still not wanted here.”

Cassandra McDonald, the president of the Euclid branch of the NAACP, was quoted as saying, “The hiring creates a perception of bias from the outset of the investigation. There’s definitely a lack of accountability. For them to hire someone that is already in favor of officers, simply by what they have been known to do [in their career], the bias is already presented.”

Let’s face facts: There is ample evidence over the centuries to unequivocally make the statement that the American jurisprudence system was, is and always be biased against blacks. Simply look at the body of evidence. So, no matter which white attorney the Euclid law director hired (she damn sure was not about to hire a black one), the outcome would be the same: the cop would be found innocent — aren’t they always? So the hiring of Vitantonio is simply another slap in the face of black Euclid residents, who have certainly endured their share of being slapped around over the years.

But knowing Ms. McDonald as I do, I would not be surprised if protestors are soon seen at Euclid City Hall. Nor would I be surprised by the amount of media coverage if such a demonstration takes place since this situation stinks to high heaven.

From CoolCleveland correspondent Mansfield B. Frazier mansfieldfATgmail.com. Frazier’s From Behind The Wall: Commentary on Crime, Punishment, Race and the Underclass by a Prison Inmate is available in hardback. Snag your copy and have it signed by the author at http://NeighborhoodSolutionsInc.

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