Last year, Scene
brought you the story of Aric Jackson and his girlfriend, Jamie Cuxton, who in August 2005 ventured into the Castlebar on Lorain Avenue, not knowing their mere presence would stir two off-duty Cleveland cops into action. The crime? Being a bi-racial couple under the same roof where one of the cops, William Forrest, allegedly liked to pass out white-power pamphlets
While Cuxton visited the bathroom, Forrest and the second cop, Pete Turner, sat menacingly on either side of Jackson. After his girlfriend returned, Forrest turned his attention to her, questioning her taste in men. Cuxton snapped back, and when Forrest forced her off a barstool, Jackson stepped in. A fight broke out. When it was over, Jackson had tussled with Forrest and the bar’s owner, Jeffrey Powers. He also had knocked out Turner, whose jaw apparently isn't as firm as his stance on inter-racial couples. (Although Turner claims Jackson cold-cocked him with an ashtray).
Cuxton called the (on-duty) cops, and Forrest, Powers, and Turner were all charged with assault. Forrest and Powers were acquitted in March, and Forrest kept his badge. But a jury convicted Turner of “inciting to violence.”
So his lawyers appealed – the others had walked, after all, and a civil suit filed last year by Jackson and Cuxton against both officers and Powers was dismissed. Last Thursday, the Eighth District agreed, and reversed Turner’s conviction. (You can read the opinion – chock full of saucy quotes from Turner’s trial transcripts – here.
Turner’s lawyer, John Chambers, expects more than a clean record for his client – he’s talking full reinstatement and back pay. “Pete didn’t do anything wrong,” says Chambers. “He didn’t have a part in the fight. The only thing he did was get his face in the way of that ashtray.” -- Jason Nedley