Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson questioned about violence in city during interview with 19 News

Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson questioned about violence in city during interview with 19 News
State of the City (Source: WOIO)

CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson delivered his “State of the City” address on Thursday night without going in-depth into the ongoing legal issues surrounding members of his family or violence in the community.

Reporter Harry Boomer held a community discussion to get opinions on the mayor’s message.

19 News panel: Clevelanders weigh in on Mayor Jackson's State of the City address

The mayor spoke on Friday, following up on several issues that weren’t detailed in his address.

A big part of the mayor’s speech on Thursday was about creating equity and eliminating disparity. He did not mention anything about the recent crime spree in Cleveland, including the drive-by shooting death of a 6-year-old girl.

Since the start of 2019, there have been at least 101 violent deaths in Cleveland, but Jackson failed to discuss what can be done to get violent offenders into custody.

Jackson did briefly mention his family during the speech, but was unapologetic and did not go into specifics about his grandson Frank Q. Jackson.

“Let me just be clear, my family is my family. Alright? And I do not apologize to anybody about my family,” Jackson exclaimed.

After those comments, Jackson immediately changed the topic.

On Friday 19 News’ Reporter Erin Logan sat down with Jackson and asked, “There was at least one [TV] station that did get a one-on-one interview with you regarding your family, so I’m just wondering why?” He replied, “I don’t know if it was in regards to my family. It was in regards to a situation that I was being accused of that was false. I basically said to them that I don’t talk about my family. That’s what it was. That’s all it was, not a conversation about my family.”

Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson questioned about violence in city during interview with 19 News

Logan also asked the mayor why he didn’t directly address violent crime. There have been 102 violent deaths to dates. That includes one just last week. A six-year-old girl’s home was shot at 28 times killing her in her sleep. “What do you plan to do to get these violent offenders off the streets?” He said, “Well again, my State of the City was designed to talk about that. I talked about the underlying cause of all the dysfunctional social economical issues. If we do not address that, I don’t care who the mayor is.”

The mayor’s main message on how to make Cleveland a better place is “producing equity and eliminating disparity.” In his speech Thursday night he said, “A great city is one where everyone shares in prosperity and quality life.” He feels the city is on the right track when it comes to improving the quality of education, more job opportunities and the ability for all to own and operate a business.

19 News previously reported that the mayor’s grandson was labeled a “prime suspect” by the Cuyahoga County Prosecutor’s Office in an August murder on Cleveland’s West Side. His great-grandson was also recently charged as a juvenile with being involved in gang activity after shooting at an undercover officer.

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