Editorial: Cleveland's Mean Streets

Cleveland, OH - The most recent gunfire to hit the headlines involved the shooting of a 15-year old Cleveland youth by the man he was intending to rob - a man who had a gun and a permit to carry it. The story has gotten a lot of play because the man who killed his teenage assailant has had to flee his central neighborhood in fear of others in the neighborhood who want to avenge the dead robber. Astonishing as it sounds, that's how bad things have become here.

The brutality and murder that is now so commonplace on the mean streets of inner city Cleveland are a blight that should shame every citizen in the region. It is not just an embarrassment to a once great city, it is a cancer that is working to poison everything about the place - driving the law-abiding out and leaving a no-man's land of despair, drugs and death.

And, so where, we ask are the leaders - those elected, appointed or self-appointed?  For the most part, they have been absent. Mayor Jackson finally spoke out publicly about this recent incident Monday - some 10-days after it happened. His inspiring message was that he wasn't shocked by the shooting. The city council trotted itself out, too posing on the steps of the Lonnie Burton Recreational Center to proclaim violence won't be tolerated. But, it is being tolerated because no one in a leadership position is doing anything substantial to stop it.