October 03, 2022prev: September 26, 2022 next: October 10, 2022
Public Commenters (14 min)
Mark Schumann Paula Kampf Matthew Ahn Beverly Owens
Last week at this microphone in these chambers, somebody used public comment to speak the kind of hate language that made me have to go to those funerals somebody stood here and advocated for you to codify removing rights from the LGBTQIA community.
Right now there are people who have not yet dared to come out, who are living in fear in a world where it's way too easy for people to feel like it's fine to show up right here in public at a revered institution and say: "You have no rights, you are not human" and ask you to codify that and in these chambers. Last week that hate went unchallenged. So tonight I'm here to challenge that hate, and that silence I call on you city councilors to speak out when hate is asked of you. Respond. I know most of you on this council. I beg you to not sit in silence when you're in this situation. Imagine being a teenager at home who looks to you, hearing silence this week. Imagine being the parent of a queer kid who's struggling, and hearing silence when residents call on city council to legislate hate against your kid. Imagine calling the funeral home and picking out which casket is best when your neighbor spoke to city council asked to codify hate against your kid, your beloved, your friend -- and the silence was their last straw.
Public comment is not meant to be empty shouting into some void. It's supposed to be where residents can interact with council and bring important ideas and enter into a dialogue, so I'm here to remind city council that you have to respond. This is a dialogue with the people who elect you, who look to you, who depend on you. I'm here to say that silence is complicity. And also if you're a person who's following on Twitter with the Cleveland Documenter tonight or watching online, You're not alone contact the Trevor Project if you need some help tonight.
My name is Matthew Ahn and I'm a professor at CSU's law school. I am here once again in my personal capacity to discuss ShotSpotter. First off, I want to thank the chair of the Safety Committee Mike Polensek for allowing public comment at last Wednesday's Safety Committee meeting. I unfortunately was not able to stay long enough to actually give comment that day. It was a long meeting. Happens. I'm also not going to be able to make it on Thursday so I wanted to address some of the things that came up at Wednesday's meeting. As a baseline matter, Councilwoman Howse made some comments-- ShotSpotter is not violence prevention. This is by definition true. It cannot prevent violence. The violence has already happened once ShotSpotter is alerted.
As a former public defender and a law professor I have to know the levers of deterrence and behavior modification inside and out. It doesn't surprise me at all that all of the longitudinal studies demonstrate that ShotSpotter has no effect on gun violence because philosophically deterrence, or again behavior modification, is based almost entirely on the question of the perceived likelihood of getting caught. The thing is, if people don't know where these microphones are -- and I understand why there are reasons to say that we can't tell you where the microphones are -- that means they're not going to change their behavior based on what their perceived chance of getting caught is. It simply doesn't work that way. Not in the criminal legal system. Not between us and our pets. Not in any setting.
Yhe other justification given at Wednesday Safety Committee meeting was for evidence collection a few hundred shell casings that can be sent to ballistics. And the two things that I have problems with there. One, I'm not exactly sure why ShotSpotter was necessary to find those shell casings. I assume they'd be there even if ShotSpotter was not there. And two, ballistics like many forensic sciences are basically at the level of junk science. Regardless of what the police procedurals want to tell you. Depending on the method used, they're still between a 25 and a 70 percent uncertainty rate with most of the standard ballistics techniques that are out there today.
All all of this to say installing these microphones just like installing, you know, cameras where we're not disclosing the locations. These cannot be crime prevention. They are strictly a reactive tool. That's why every study that's out there shows there's no effect on gun violence. That's why all it does is provide a few correct alarms that are drowned out by a large number of false alarms. Right, and so it doesn't really even help to add a rider to say, "Hey let's study whether or not this works." We have the data to show that it doesn't.
I also would would caution council not to add a matching amount of funds for violence prevention. You can, I'm sorry Mr Mayor. You can just tell the mayor "no." You can vote no and I would urge you to do so. Thank you very much.
It all arise around the vacant lots not being maintained. They have come out and cut the lots. They have come out and somewhat cleaned up the lots. But from them lots not being named maintained year after year, now we have a sidewalk safety issue. The grass has grown from the lots across the sidewalks to the lots on the street lawn.
The weather is about to change. First, I want to know are we even on the schedule to come out and have the grass maintained before the weather turnover? I can never get a schedule.
I think we should have at least a schedule to say they're coming out to cut versus telling me well it's raining we don't have enough tractors and so forth.
But I'm gonna keep bringing this issue up because it is a problem I have.
Neighbors I have, family members that are afraid to walk down their streets because the grass have grown over the sidewalks the sidewalk grass has grown so that you cannot walk on the sidewalks forcing individuals to walk in the street. So I've asked city council, I've come to council before to say do we really care about our communities. We actually have people that live there that care about their property and they care about where they live at. We don't want to move out of our communities but we're left there to defend, defend for ourselves. We're there as once again we hear, you're not low income, so we can't give you the help.
My main concern is that by the grounds and the grass growing the way that they're growing we have a lot of dips so I also have pictures of the sidewalks that have cracked. That's foundation. I've been in my home for 16 years I have foundation problems. Thank God it's just my garage that I can't use. That my 80 year father come over every summer, take off each panel so I can use my garage, and then he put them back up at the end of the season so he'll probably be over in the next couple of weeks to help me put each panel back up because my garage has shifted, so that that the ground is shifting. So there's foundation problems, and they're going to become bigger. And we always wait till we get to the end where it's costing so much more money so much more manpower to fix things that I keep coming up here complaining that we have a problem. Walk through the neighborhoods, come through the neighborhoods. I'll especially say Ward 5.
Come through those neighborhoods. I've sent pictures of each street each street and I've also pictures send pictures of the light that's one door away from my house where me and a 80 year old neighbor past couple of months have scraped up the grass off the sidewalk to the point that we got almost a clear path going down our street now.
So once again come through the neighborhoods if you don't believe me ask for the pictures I have sent them to the commissioner.
Thank you have a good night. Thank you.
It's an excellent question and the answer is "No. I really hope it's no." Uh yeah I'm Mark W Shumann. I am just some guy on Dearborn. I live in a pointy corner of Ward 3, where it almost turns into Ward 15 and I'm asking all to vote no on 909.
I came here to just share two really really short documents. See if you recognize them.
The right of the people to be secure in their persons houses papers and effects against unreasonable searches and seizures. Yes, it's funny shall not be violated and no warrants shall issue but upon probable cause supported by oath or affirmation and particularly describing the place to be searched particularly that has meaning. That's the Fourth Amendment right? Who knew it? Nobody knew it?
OK, second one. I, say your name, do solemnly swear that I will support the Constitution of the United States -- support not work around not find a way to hack into the Constitution --of the United States and the state of Ohio and I will faithfully, honestly and impartially discharge the duties and blah blah blah... That was your oath of office. It came up recently. put those two things together. I'm going to pick out a word support the Constitution you swore to support the Constitution including the Fourth Amendment, not to just barely comply with it, not to find a way around it, not to stonewall for seven years of a five-year compliance plan with the Fourth Amendment.
You put ShotSpotter out there and it is constantly recording everything in radius no matter what it is, without probable cause, without particularly describing the place to be searched, without a reason to be suspecting any person you might be surveilling in recording and searching.
I'm going to be out on 73rd tomorrow and I could be talking to my best friend I could be talking to my child. I'd be talking to uh Tim the Scrapper guy with that card, right, I could be be talking to myself -- and you're recording me. That by itself, no reason to think I've committed a crime, that is not how our free society operates.
I'm not a lawyer but I am 2-0 in the Court of Appeals and both times I beat the city just putting that out there you swore to support the Fourth Amendment, not find a way to work around it. Vote no on 909.