Episode 03: Misdemeanor, Meet Mr. Lawsuit

This episode is about a misdemeanor case, involving a person indicated with possession of Marijuana. A while back, the narrator and his producer had attended a meeting about community policing in Cleveland. The police department had welcomed individuals to a banquet hall for a workshop. The individuals invited were expected to present their concerns to the police about the type of issues they would like the police to attend to (Episode 03: Misdemeanor, Meet Mr. Lawsuit, n.d).  Different questions are raised and different answers are given. Chris admits that most individuals are afraid of the police, the conversations don’t flow so well, though the moderator tries to intervene, it doesn’t help much.

Samaria Rice complains about corruption in the Cleveland Police Department, his son was killed by the police some years back, at the tender age of twelve years. The boy was playing outside with a toy gun when someone called the police, and he was shot. This incidence attracted a lot of attention from the public, the pain is still fresh and hasn’t been solved. This is what makes Rice speak the way he does whenever she attends these meetings; she believes a lot needs to be done to fix the police. She has not received justice for the killing of her son. The county prosecutor called it a “perfect storm of human error, mistakes, and miscommunications.” The grand jury did not charge the police for the killing of Tamir Rice. There seems to be no justice for individuals harmed by the police.

The police have harmed Erimius, the mother called civil rights attorney Paul Cristallo, the Attorney takes Sarah Koenig the narrator to record this incident. Erimius narrates his version of the story which happens to be different from that of the police (Episode 03: Misdemeanor, Meet Mr. Lawsuit, n.d). The police have stopped him when he has gone to get some cigarettes for a friend in the same building, did some interrogations on him, they asked if they could search him for any weapons which he allowed and that’s when a blunt was found on him and arrested him.

Erimius tried to ask what he was being arrested for, and a fight transpired, and that’s how the police harmed him. There’s some blood on the floor, from the incident Erimius underwent, that’s his blood. The carpet has some burn marks from the teasers as well. The teasers burned Erimius skin too. He believes one single blunt of Marijuana does not warrant an arrest, to him, it’s a misdemeanor offense (Episode 03: Misdemeanor, Meet Mr. Lawsuit, n.d). However, Paul explains that Erimius is incorrect. Paul believes Erimius will be compensated for the harm. However, the police listed Erimius of drug abuse, resisting arrest, theft, and criminal damaging. Paul advises Erimius to plead to something minor for her case to get better.

Paul doesn’t want Erimius to be noticed, police brutality cases have made people not to trust the police anymore, and the majority of the people will not call the police even when they need to. The objective of Paul’s claim, besides getting justice for Erimius, is to drive police to account for their conduct. He believes the police do not own up for their mistakes; that’s why he prefers the case to handle this way. As association president, Steve Loomis sat on the Cleveland Community Police Commission (Episode 03: Misdemeanor, Meet Mr. Lawsuit, n.d). There’s been a consistent dribble of articles in the press about Steve’s spotty participation at gatherings and the many calls for his resignation. In one article, he clarified that he’d selected himself as an official since he would not like to subject any of his patrolmen to cite, “that farce of a commission.”

Erimius has been battling for her justice for over five months now, the building management asks him to move out of the building, or he will be evicted. The police gave a different story of what transpired (Episode 03: Misdemeanor, Meet Mr. Lawsuit, n.d.).What’s additionally annoying is the point at which a system of laws and techniques kicks in to defend the lies, with the goal that it looks and seems as though justice is being served. A video appears on the internet of a police officer harassing a black guy in the street after a traffic stop. The officer in question is Michael Amiott, the Euclid weed smeller




Episode 03: Misdemeanor, Meet Mr. Lawsuit. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://serialpodcast.org/season-three/3/misdemeanor-meet-mr-lawsuit