Cleveland Urban News.Com interviewed now President Barack Obama one-on-one when he was campaigning for president. As to the Obama interview,
CLEVELAND URBAN NEWS.COM, CLEVELAND, Ohio - Greater Cleveland community activists are calling on the city of Cleveland to settle the wrongful death and excessive force lawsuit filed on behalf of the family of Daniel Ficker of Parma, whom Cleveland police killed at his home in 2011, if that is what the Ficker family wants.
Parma is a Cleveland suburb that is 12 percent Black and has a history of police mishaps against the Black community, though Ficker was White.
According to an article published on Dec. 20 by Cleveland.Com, the online affiliate of the Cleveland Plain Dealer Newspaper, Ohio's largest newspaper, Ficker's mother, Bernadette Rolen, and girlfriend, Tiffany Urbach, recently notified a federal judge that they were amenable to negotiating a settlement. CLICK HERE TO READ THE ENTIRE CLEVELAND.COM ARTICLE
The city of Cleveland has also said it is open to negotiations, the article says.
Mediation is scheduled for Jan. 5 in front of presiding U.S. District Judge Dan Polster, Cleveland.Com said in its article, as Polster has settled other Cleveland police killing lawsuits, including that of Malissa Williams and Tim Russell, both Black and both gunned down in 2012 by 13 non-Black cops slinging 137 bullets.
The families of Russell and Williams split a $3 million settlement.
Ficker left behind two kids with Urbach and she and his mother, Bernadette Rolen, and father, Dennis Ficker, have rallied with activists relative to erroneous Cleveland police murders, including on Daniel Ficker's behalf.
"This case should be settled fairly if that is what the family wants because of obvious alleged wrongdoing and an injustice that needs to be rectified," said activist Kathy Wray Coleman, who leads the Imperial Women Coalition.
Coleman said said that Cleveland police crossed jurisdictional lines from Cleveland to Parma and killed a 27-year-old young man in his prime with two children and a fiance.
Art McKoy, founder of Black on Black Crime Inc. and a longtime community activist, agrees and told Cleveland Urban News.Com that the Ficker family deserves justice.
"We want what the Ficker family wants," said McKoy. "They are a great family that has been fighting for justice for a long time."
Coleman said that Ficker is the lone White victim of police brutality and an excessive force killing that activists have fought for in recent years and that his case is as meaningful as the other police killing victims, including Black victims of Timothy Russell, Malissa Williams, Tamir Rice, Tanisha Anderson, rapper Kenneth Smith, and Brandon Jones.
Coleman said that activists are pushing a non-violent and peaceful movement for redress for unorthodox Cleveland police killings, and police brutality in general in Cuyahoga County, which includes the largely Black city of Cleveland.
If negotiations fail, the Ficker case will go to trial in January 2017, Ficker family attorney Terry Gilbert, also an the attorney for the Russell family, told Cleveland Urban News.Com in an interview.
Ficker, 27, was shot and killed by Craska during a July 4, 2011 confrontation. (Editor's note: Matt Craska)
He had gone to a party at officer David Mindek's house the day before the shooting and was accused by David Mindek's wife of allegedly stealing her jewelry, the Cleveland.com article says.
Gilbert told activists and Cleveland Urban News.Com, Ohio's most read digital Black newspaper with no affiliation to Cleveland.com, that "no stolen jewelry or any jewelry was found."
Kimberly Mindek, who is also Urbach's (Ficker's girlfriend) cousin, called her husband about the missing jewelry. David Mindek, who was off duty, and Craska, who was on, went to Ficker's home to talk to him.
A struggle ensued, the lawsuit says, and Craska tried to arrest Ficker, claiming he had allegedly assaulted him during the altercation.
The struggle ended with Craska shooting Ficker in the chest and prominent Cleveland attorney Gilbert says in the lawsuit that Ficker was innocent, and a victim of police abuse and malfeasance.
A grand jury cleared Craska of criminal liability, which is routine relative to Cleveland police killings, and regardless often of wrongdoing by police, data show.
Officer Mindek was acquitted of a dereliction of duty charge Prosecutors had said that he refused to help Craska make an arrest.
Both police officers are White and have since left the force, Gilbert confirmed.
The lawsuit has been delayed due partly to an unsuccessful appeal by the city of Cleveland to the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals as to a district court ruling that Craska and Mindek and the city could possibly be held liable for Ficker's death.
City spokesperson Dan Williams will not comment on the case, saying a lawsuit is pending.