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City hall protestors decry treatment of young black males

Published: Thu, July 19, 2012 @ 6:57 p.m.

City hall protestors decry treatment of young black males


Desiree Johnson and about two dozen supporters held protest signs and walked outside city hall in protest of the treatment of young black males like her son, and the harassment she says her family has faced from Youngstown police.

Johnson, 45, and her friend Doretha Weston, 35, will be sentenced Friday on misdemeanor charges of obstructing official business, assault on an officer and resisting arrest following an altercation with police during a 2011 traffic stop.

Johnson said the issue with police began before that 2011 traffic stop. She said the protest is centered around police treatment of her 15-year-old son Benjamin “Benji” Roberts, who was stopped at gunpoint by police in 2009 when he was 12. The officers who stopped Johnson and Weston are the same officers who earlier stopped her son.

Johnson has sued the city over the issue involving her son. That matter is still in court.

Johnson in 2009 said Benji had gone down the street from their home to play basketball, but she realized he had not cleaned up his bedroom and had his sister go down the street and get him so he could finish his chores.

Benji, accompanied by the family’s large mixed-breed dog, Lucky, ran home at his mother’s request. He was met in the rear of the home by several police officers with their guns drawn.

Police said officers were in the area investigating alleged drug sales by minors. They also said the unleashed dog gave officers reason to fear for their safety.

Benji was not found to have done anything wrong.

Read more in Friday’s Vindicator


1doowoptokidrock(325 comments)posted 3 years, 11 months ago

I hope the judge gives these 2 losers the maximum prison term Friday.

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2redeye1(5612 comments)posted 3 years, 11 months ago

Isn't it amazing that these black ladies are saints. They all did nothing wrong. I agree with the first poster give them a long sentence in prison

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3UnionForever(1470 comments)posted 3 years, 11 months ago

Put their arses in jail for a good long time. I am sick and tired of blacks who think the country owes them a free living and cry racist at every turn. Act like normal Americans and that won't happen to you. Wear a black hoodie and pants on the ground, and you can expect the same treatment.

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4hollywood(94 comments)posted 3 years, 11 months ago

i do agree there are a few ignorant cops in ytown. a few nice and a few just ignorant!!!

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5VINDYAK(1824 comments)posted 3 years, 11 months ago

If you want society to treat you with respect, start by treating society with the same respect you expect. Show some common sense and bear to the right when you walk with friends on the sidewalks, give others the right-of-way. Don't force them off the sidewalk. Don't slow down on purpose when you walk in front of another's car while they have the green light. Don't belittle others for not giving you a cigarette, or the time, as many fear those are lead-ins to a robbery. And address others as you would expect to be addressed, by not calling them names you know they despise. You are only fueling the hatred you decry and are doing more harm than good.

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6TylerDurden(367 comments)posted 3 years, 11 months ago

How did they have free time to protest? They must have requested time off from their jobs.

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7Bman(151 comments)posted 3 years, 11 months ago

This article paint Desiree, Benjamin, and their "large mixed-breed" dog like June and Beaver Cleaver, with "Captain Jack" the dog. I wonder if Desiree and Benji have a dad in the home too, like Ward Cleaver???

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8DwightK(1535 comments)posted 3 years, 11 months ago

So this whole "protest" is a way to drum up sympathy for their lousy lawsuit. I'm going to ignore it since there are more important things worthy of my time.

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9Lifes2Short(3882 comments)posted 3 years, 11 months ago

Are they serious??? So tired of EXCUSES from the blacks. So many excuses, so don't get in TROUBLE then they wouldn't have to worry about anything. Real simple. Keep your nose clean. It's always somebody else except them! They are never to blame, ever.
They don't want to be stereotyped, don't show your stupid boxer shorts out in public (that really should be indecent exposure in public), respect others as you would want to be respected, Quit having the mindset everyone owes blacks, Get a real job not drugs, oh wait, they can't pass the pre drug screening. Quit the BS, grow up and become productive members of society not a bunch of useless cockroaches.
The world don't owe blacks anything, why do they think otherwise? Why does everyone have to watch or say anything bad about blacks. They don't respect others so why should we have to respect them. smh at such stupidity in society today.

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10GeorgeSands(16 comments)posted 3 years, 11 months ago

Teens are treated badly by the police no matter location, LA, Miami, NYC, or Youngstown, and regardless of race. Age is the biggest factor.

Teens are easy targets. False claims can be made and who will the officials believe? So the police can do whatever they want to teens and get away with it.

I once did a study of the number of charges written against teens in an urban neighborhood in Miami compared to the number written against teens in my neighborhood, a community built around a golf course. I was shocked at how close the numbers were. I learned that communities that hired their own police rather than using the county police force, had amazingly low numbers. The police in those communities are hired to protect and serve not to arrest the sons of the homeowners of the community.

Having a conversation with a police officer in my neighborhood, I commented on the high number of teens that are charged even in good neighborhoods. She said that she too was surprised but for a different reason. She explained that when teens are arrested, there is so much paperwork and time-consuming procedures to follow that she hated it when she took in a teen.

Ah, hah! Now I get it! Police go after teens because it gives them safte time on the job. Think about it ! One juvie arrest could amount to a half day in a safe environment.

The problem is real, but it is not racial.
It's age related and it's a matter of survival. After all, teens are much less dangerous than a thirty year old gun carrying career criminal.

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11Lifes2Short(3882 comments)posted 3 years, 11 months ago


Excuses, excuses, excuses and more excuses, don't you ever get tired of coming up with excuses? It's getting really old! Quit with the excuses because they've been so worn out over time. Come up with something new, like maybe, becoming productive members of society and quit getting in trouble and live a law abiding life, instead of wasting time protesting downtown about how blacks are always harassed. Need to look in the mirror and be held accountable for your actions and your childrens actions! How come it's always the ones that are always in trouble that bi@# and moan about being harassed, that don't say something to you? It's so boring with all your EXCUSES!

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12Lifes2Short(3882 comments)posted 3 years, 11 months ago


EXCUSES! (YAWN) so tired of all the EXCUSES!

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13Traveler(606 comments)posted 3 years, 11 months ago

so tired of the young black men waging a war on society to have the black leaders come up and defend the actions of the animals they help create

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