A Cleveland, Ohio judge dismissed a lawsuit stating that traffic cameras in the area are unfairly placed in poor and African-American neighborhoods, only to receive backlash from the local community for his decision to not hear the case.
Judge Cassandra Collier-Williams, who dismissed the case just recently, said that the lawsuit was not just because the organization that filed it was trying to benefit the East Cleveland Project, with a certain Pastor A.J. Thompson representing the group fighting for the cause.
This may seem unfair to some, but upon reviewing Ohio state laws, it is unlawful to not have a lawyer represent an organization — and TUA Help Save East Cleveland Project states that they are indeed an organization. Collier-Williams also stated that the claim was improperly filed.
Legal snares are always an issue in the world of law, which is why people hire lawyers. Lawyers understand the ins and outs of local, state, and federal laws, depending on what their specialty is. Lawyers are particularly busy when it comes to personal claims. For example, the average length of divorce proceedings last about one year, and on average, only 3% of drivers ever contest their citations.
Pastor Thompson, the head of TUA Help Save East Cleveland Project, sued Xerox Corp. last March for unjustly placing too many traffic cameras in a dominantly African-American neighborhood. Along with Xerox, American Traffic Solutions and the city of East Cleveland were also defendants in this potential case.
Speed cameras are often used to reduce traffic violations, decrease crashes, and prevent injuries to pedestrians and drivers alike. Thirty days before a Cleveland traffic camera is installed, the city is required to inform the general public of its whereabouts.
The claim stated that these automated traffic cameras are a violation of civil rights on the grounds that they are placed in predominantly black and/or poor neighborhoods in the city, “causing further oppression and loss of police manpower.”
The case has been appealed to the Ohio Supreme Court after a panel of judges unanimously ruled that the city’s traffic cameras violate ticket requirements issued for traffic violations.
Traffic cameras have proved successful after installation around the Cleveland area. In 2007, a traffic camera was installed in from of a school in Akron after a child was hit. That camera has since reduced speeding in the area.
For now, the cameras in the city are still fully functional, though the TUA Save East Cleveland Project Group has sought to stop the operation of the cameras.