Titillating Tidbits: Racial Disparity in Cleveland Hts. Traffic Stops, Cleveland NFL Draft Swag Bags, and 'We Buy Houses' Signs Meet Their Match


Did you survive Draft Day in Cleveland? - ABC
  • ABC
  • Did you survive Draft Day in Cleveland?

Our weekly roundup of minor but interesting happenings, stuff you missed, stuff we missed, and assorted fun.

- A study by the Cleveland State University Diversity Institute found that in 2019 Black people were three times more likely than white people to be pulled over in Cleveland Heights. The stunning disparity in one of Cleveland's most diverse inner-ring suburbs means city leaders, who commissioned the study in the wake of George Floyd's death last year, are now faced with rectifying what the report found.

“We are disturbed and concerned regarding the racial disparity,” City Manager Susanna Niermann O’Neil said at a recent council meeting. “And, like everyone who’s read it, we had a lot of questions. I can understand the reactions and concerns of our residents."

- A coalition of organizations and the Northeast Ohio Worker Center are hosting a May Day Workers Assembly Saturday afternoon from 12 to 1:30 p.m. at Wade Lagoon to launch the Northeast Ohio Worker Bill of Rights.

"It has been an unprecedentedly difficult year for workers. We will hear from workers and share in their successes and struggles over the last year. Speakers will include workers from the grocery, teaching, healthcare, service and sex work industries," organizers said.

- What was in the Cleveland swag bag for NFL Draft VIP attendees? ESPN's Adam Schefter with the details.

- A gem from Ideastream: "In Cleveland, 'We Buy Houses' Signs Meet 'I Tear Down Signs' Guy."

Most 'We Buy Houses' signs are illegal — not because of what they say, but because of where they’re posted. Utility poles, which are the places you see them most often, are owned by cities or public utilities. So are tree lawns and guardrails. All are off-limits to private advertisers, including political candidates who post campaign signs during election season or folks who advertise concealed carry gun classes.

But violators are seldom fined or prosecuted, meaning efforts to curb the signs have mostly been neighborhood-based and grassroots.

- The city of Cleveland can't stop eagerly promoting Frank Jackson's tele town hall next Thursday and no one seems to know why it's being treated as such a special event, though speculation points to him possibly announcing that he will not be running for re-election, which, to most people, wouldn't register anywhere near being a must-see special event. (Know more? Hit that Submit a Tip button on our site.)

- Welcome to Cleveland, indeed.

- An Ohio judge ruled that cities can keep collecting income taxes from workers even if they're working from home during the pandemic, which brings a sigh of relief to cash-strapped municipalities even as some wonder what the justification is.

- Fresh off the George Floyd verdict, which reaffirmed the importance of video evidence in cases involving police brutality, Channel 5 found only 32% of non-municipal police departments in Northeast Ohio provide or use body cameras.

- Digit Widget

4,536 — Work zone crashes in Ohio in 2020, up from 2019 despite fewer commuters on the road during the pandemic, according to ODOT. Eighteen of those were fatal and 96 caused serious injuries. ODOT crews were hit by vehicles 125 times.

237,000 — First and second doses of the Pfizer vaccine administered at the Wolstein Center mass vaccination site in its first six weeks.

$7 — The cost to park a small plane at Burke Lakefront Airport for a day.

$400,000 — Amount the city of Cleveland will seek reimbursement for from the Greater Cleveland Sports Commission for police and security details during the NFL Draft.

- What's Scene dining editor Doug Trattner eating this week?

- Vintage photo of the week

- New local music of the week: "Are You Dreaming" by Mike Uva

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Cleveland Scene. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Cleveland Scene, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at news@clevescene.com.

Support Local Journalism.
Join the Cleveland Scene Press Club

Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state. Our readers helped us continue this coverage in 2020, and we are so grateful for the support.

Help us keep this coverage going in 2021. Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing membership pledge, your support goes to local-based reporting from our small but mighty team.

Join the Cleveland Scene Press Club for as little as $5 a month.