On Saturday, April 11, victims of abuse at the hands of the Cleveland police department came to Cleveland State University to tell their stories to a panel of distinguished human rights activists and leaders at an event called The People’s Tribunal on Police Brutality. Today, Puncture the Silence is releasing a transcript of the tribunal along with a short video. At 11 AM there will be a press conference at the Old Stone Church, where panelists and testifiers will answer questions from reporters. In addition to offering the stories to the media, we intend to pursue justice by bringing the injustices of Cleveland’s justice system to the attention of international human rights organizations.
The Tribunal was at turns somber and uplifting. Family members of people whose lives had been stolen delivered powerful testimony, while panelists offered their support and gave their perspectives on the deeper issues that lead to the conditions that engender police abuse. Reading the testimony is a powerful and heart-wrenching experience. For a hint of the power of the tribunal, watch the 13 minute video that was produced for us by Faheem Khabeer. Links to the transcript and video can be found here.