http://blog.cleveland.com/metro/2007/12/vigil_planned_to_remember_clev.htmlVigil planned to remember Cleveland's missing
Posted by Donna J. Miller December 27, 2007 06:48AM
Categories: Breaking News
There will be a rally at East 9th Street and Lakeside Avenue for five missing people.
It will begin at 11:30 a.m. Sunday for Amanda Berry, 20, missing since April 21, 2003; Gina DeJesus, 17, missing since April 3, 2004; Willie Standberry Sr., 73, missing since Dec. 7, 2006; Kejuan Sarter, 23, missing since Dec. 10, 2006; and Gloria Walker, 46, missing since May 2.
"How could five people just drop off the face of the earth?" organizer Judy Martin said in a news release.
Amanda and Gina disappeared from their West Side neighborhoods.
Standberry and his car vanished after he was seen at a gas station at East 123rd Street and St. Clair Avenue.
Sarter was last seen at a girlfriend's house, where neighbors reported hearing gunshots.
Walker drove a friend home, stopped at a gas station and hasn't been seen since. Her car was found behind a vacant warehouse.
Friends, family and members of Black on Black Crime and Survivors/Victims of Tragedy will be at the rally and talk to Browns fans walking to and from the stadium.
"Somebody somewhere saw something. It's way past the time to tell. The families need to know," Martin said.
Community activists and relatives of two missing East Side men converged on Cleveland's 6th District police station Tuesday with loud but peaceful complaints of police apathy.
"All we want to know is what happened to them," said Oscar Stanberry of Cleveland.
His 73-year-old brother, Willie C. "Chuck" Standberry (who spells the family name with a "d') of East Cleveland, has not been seen since the predawn hours of Dec. 8, a relative said.
The other missing man is Kejuan Sarter, 23, of Cleveland. His father and a man who described himself as Sarter's stepfather said police have failed to take Sarter's vanishing seriously and have refused to investigate the woman he lived with, whom the relatives suspect may have knowledge about his Dec. 10 disappearance.
About 50 protesters marched north on East 152nd Street from the McDonald's restaurant on St. Clair Avenue and stopped outside the police station in Collinwood at 6:30 p.m. Bellowing into a public address system, event organizer and activist Art McKoy charged that detectives are doing little about the disappearances because the missing men are black.
"Their families didn't have a Merry Christmas and won't have a Happy New Year unless Mr. Standberry and Mr. Sarter are found," shouted McKoy, a persistent police critic.
But Cleveland police spokeswoman Nancy Domin said police have investigated both men's disappearance with vigor. East Cleveland police are leading the Standberry case, but Cleveland detectives are doing what they can, she said. In Sarter's case, Dominik said, police "have put in a lot of time and energy."
"I know they're working hard on this, so I don't know why [the protesters] are doing this," Dominik said.
McKoy, who heads the Black on Black Crime group, whipped up a crowd of about 50 supporters outside the station with a call and response:
"What do we want?" he shouted.
"Justice," the crowd yelled back.
Then, at McKoy's urging, the group quieted and filed into the police station's lobby, fell silent and sat down for about four minutes. Police working behind bullet-proof glass appeared largely disinterested in the demonstration they knew was coming.
Sarter got into an argument with his girlfriend Dec. 10. Neighbors reported hearing shots fired inside the couple's Columbia Avenue home, said Sarter's father, Sam Wesley of Warrensville Heights. Sarter has not been seen since, he said.
Standberry was last seen going into a house on East 123rd Street for after-hours drinking early on Dec. 8, said his son, Willie Stanberry Jr. Party attendees told family members that Standberry scuffled with three men in the house.
Anyone with information on either missing man is urged to contact Cleveland police at 216-621-1234.