Tag: Atlanta

Atlanta Re-opens the 1970s Missing and Murder Children Cases

By Michael March 27, 2019 2

Over 40 years ago, the city of Atlanta, Georgia closed the books on the “missing and murdered” children cases. From about 1977 through 1981, 28 Black children and young adults disappeared from Atlanta streets in an impoverished section of the city.

These youngsters, both male, and female were never again seen alive. Fear gripped Blacks in the city “too busy to hate.” The law enforcement authorities and the mainstream media was slow to recognize there was a mass murderer afoot in Atlanta. read more

City of Atlanta Under Ransomware Attack

By Michael March 22, 2018 0

Atlanta, Georgia Mayor Keisha Lance Bottom announced today that the city’s computer system has suffered a ransomware attack. The city has called in the FBI, Homeland Security and the Secret Service to address the problem.

Citizens started noticing that something was wrong with the computer system when they attempted to pay their utilities today.The primary target of the ransomware attack appears to be the city utilities department and the court system. read more

Finally, A Business Card to Rep What I Do

By Michael June 12, 2017 4

Finally, I did it. I finally got another business card. I have not had a business card announcing what I do, since sometimes around 2003 when I closed The Harvey Law Firm, A Professional Corporation.

During the last 17 years, I have been reluctant to take on another business venture and brand it with my own style. Just didn’t want the hassle of being officially in business or working at a trade – the writer’s trade – albeit is a trade I enjoy and had yearned, as a youngster to pursue.

Dabbing my fingers here and there as a writer, author and publisher gives me a sense of independence, which is something I wanted after spending nearly two decades defending the criminally accused and the negligently injured members of my community.

Cyn has been after me for quite some time to get business cards to tell the world that I am a writer and published author.

I resisted, settling instead to whip out a copy of a 4 by 6 inch flyer bearing the cover of my latest book.

After all, these flyers for Paper Puzzle and Justice in the Round, contained the pertinent information, therefore, name, cellular number,  email and website address, in addition to displaying advertising for the book.

“Why not,” the practical side of me thought, as I handed out my 4 by 6 inch flyer to those who asked for a business card.

Each time I did so, I never failed to miss the frown on the faces of those who asked for a business card. In spite of the fact no one I handed the book cover to ever called or emailed me, I was loathe to admit that Cyn was right. I needed a business card to hand out to the public when I was at book festivals or speaking on panel discussions with other authors.

Then too, seldom did I get calls for legal business from the people I handed a Harvey Law Firm card. The business tended to come from other advertisement sources.

Well, finally, I went out and ordered a box of snazzy business cards announcing to the world, that I am publisher at Cascade Publishing House. It is my goal to make Atlanta, Georgia a player in the world of book publishing, like L. A. Reid and Babyface Edmonds did in placing Atlanta in the middle of the music scene.

It is doable. In the early days of Atlanta Hip-Hop, when it seemed there was no way it would happen,The Harvey Law Firm repped music producer Dallas Austin in what may have been one of his first music contracts and the songwriter, Roy Murray for the lyrics he wrote for the Silk hit, Freak Me.

Now that I have business cards, I am looking forward to seeing if those frowns turn into phone calls and emails inquiring about the services we offer at Cascade Publishing House. I am looking forward to seeing Atlanta competing with New York in the world of book publishing.

Here goes! I am giving it the good old Harvey try. Please join me. Allow me help you write and publish that interesting book that has been burning inside of you and yearning to see the light of day.

Harold Michael Harvey is an American novelist and essayist, the author of Paper puzzle and Justice in the Round, edited Easier to obtain Than to Maintain: The Globalization of Civil Rights by Charles Steele, Jr.; and the host of Beyond the Law with Harold Michael Harvey. He can be contacted at haroldmichaelharvey.com.

 

Restorative Justice In Metro Atlanta

By Michael May 11, 2016 0

Restorative Justice was the keyword in a recent judicial forum involving candidates for judgeship and prosecutorial posts in Metropolitan Atlanta. If these candidates are true to their words, Atlanta is poised to lead the way in implementing a restorative justice approach to combating the mounting tide of crime in metro Atlanta counties.

The forum was held last Saturday, May 7, at the historic Ebeneezer Baptist Church on Auburn Avenue. It was hosted by Advocacy for Action, an organization dedicated to the recruitment and financing of candidates for judicial offices in Georgia.

Candidates for judge from Fulton, Clayton and Gwinett Counties and two of the three candidates for Solicitor General in Fulton County delivered their elevator pitch to community activists and citizens during the two-hour forum.

Many of the judicial candidates advocated restorative justice measures to address the problems experienced by veterans returning home from war and for criminal defendants who come before the court with mental health issues.

Former Fulton County Court Judge Thelma Wyatt Moore moderated the panel discussion with candidates for judge.

Moore defined Advocacy for Action’s purpose as, “An attempt to increase diversity on the court.”

Gregory McKeithen, a veteran, touted his military service as sensitizing him to the needs of veterans who come before the court. He advocated for the establishment of a Veteran’s Court should he win election to the Superior Court of Gwinett County. In addition to his belief in the restorative justice approach when it comes to veterans, McKeithen made it clear that he favors “Justice that is fair, swift and addresses the need for diversity in Gwinett County.”

McKeithen’s opponent, Ronnie Batchelor, did not attend the forum.

In Fulton County voters will have the rare opportunity to elect a new judge to replace the retiring Judge Forest Bedford.

Judge Bedford chose to serve out his term so that the citizens could decide his replacement and not the Georgia Governor. Vying for this seat are two well educated African American lawyers, Tom Cox and Gabe Banks.

Cox put forth his 30 year career as a lawyer and his recent work with the big law firm Fisher & Phillips as qualifications to serve on the bench. While Banks touted his experience as a Fulton County prosecutor, where he headed the “Gang and Drug Unit.”

Banks told the forum that he “Understands that the success of our judicial system is not measured by how many people you lock up, but in the number of people you don’t see back in the system,” while pledging his support for some type of restorative justice to address the “school to prison pipeline.”

Sterling Eaves is campaigning to replace Judge Bensonetta Lane on the Fulton County Superior Court. She put forth her work in Fulton County Magistrate Court as qualifications to serve on the Superior Court Bench. Eaves urged the group to get out and vote, “Even if you vote for the wrong person.”

Eaves, a white female is in this contest with two African American females, Belinda E. Edwards and Angelia “Angie” McMillan, neither of whom attended the forum due to previous commitments.

Rounding out the Fulton judicial races, the group heard from Eric Dunaway, who proudly proclaimed that he is “A Grady Baby” (meaning he was born at Atlanta’s Grady Memorial Hospital). Dunaway expressed an interest in exploring restorative justice measures in his court if he is elected over two white opponents, Andrew Margolis, and Gary M. Alembik, neither of whom attended the forum.

Subtle sparks flew between two of the three candidates for Fulton County Solicitor General, Keith Gammage and Teri Walker. The third candidate, Clinton “Clint” Rucker, did not attend.

Gammage is emerging as a strong proponent of restorative justice, while Walker takes the position that justice should be dispensed professionally, but without pandering to the criminally accused.

Gammage introduced evidence of his efforts to aid persons with misdemeanor arrests and convictions in getting their records either expunged or restricted so that “these people will be able to get a job.”

“I believe in prevention on the front end,” Gammage said.

Also, Gammage pledged to set up Saturday workshops at Greenbriar Mall in Southwest Atlanta to educate young black males on how to go about getting their records cleared. Additionally, he advocated for a strong diversion program that will prevent black teenagers from getting records at an early age.

“The school to prison pipeline is real,” Gammage said. “My first propriety is ending the school to prison pipeline. I have to say that I have the head and the heart for justice.”

Walker said she believes in jailing people who do not pay their fines on time. “I believe in resetting these type cases to give them time to pay their fines. I find that they can come up with the money.”

Walker said that she will deploy a system that ensures cases are prosecuted in a timely manner and will enact procedures to prevent overcrowding in the County Jail and case backlog in the court.

Veteran Atlanta lawyer, Charles Johnson, moderated the discussion of candidates for solicitor general and district attorney. Johnson said, “We have a good opportunity this year to break the good old boy system of appointing judges, as several judges decided to serve out their terms and not allow the Governor to appoint their successor.”

“The difference between diversity in the courts is the difference in how the case was handled in Ferguson and how the Baltimore case was handle,” Johnson said.

The election is on May 24. Early voting has already started.

If this forum is any indication of what is to come, this time next year we may see a shift away from the system of “lock ’em up and throw away the key,” to a more restorative justice approach in Metropolitan Atlanta.

 

Harold Michael Harvey is an American novelist and essayist, the author of Paper puzzle and Justice in the Round. He can be contacted at haroldmichaelharvey.com

 

 

Reggie Eaves, “Mr. Commish”

By Michael June 11, 2015 0

A. Reginald Eaves, “Mr. Commish” to his inner circle, was the very first Public Safety Commissioner in the country. Prior to the 1975 election of Maynard Holbrook Jackson as the mayor of Atlanta there was no such thing as a Public Safety Commissioner.

Before Atlanta changed from the old rural Marshal/Deputy Marshal system in 1873, the chief law enforcement officer in the city had been the Chief of Police. After his election, Jackson needed to wrestle control of the Police Department away from John F. Inman, the Chief of Police since March 2o, 1972.

At that time, Inman was in charge of a police department that was accused of brutalizing members of the African American community. Similar to policing in Ferguson, Staten Island, Baltimore, and McKinney today, members of the black community were used as target practice by the Atlanta Police Department. But unlike today, there were no smartphones to capture the police abuse.

Nevertheless, Atlanta’s black community was up in arms over violent police acts. Jackson was able to rally black voters in part because they saw in him a way to stop the police brutality. Inman did not want to give up his job so Jackson could hire his law school buddy, A. Reginald Eaves.

Jackson did the next best thing. He changed the century-old police chief system and created a position called the Public Safety Commissioner. He then placed the police department under the control of the Public Safety Commissioner. Eaves was tabbed for this position.

When Eaves showed up for his first day on the job, he was met by a recalcitrant John Inman and several of Inman’s gun-toting officers . After several tense days of a Mexican standoff, Inman went his way and Eaves got busy reforming the way Atlanta police officers related to members of the African American community. His legacy in this regard is still in tact as Atlanta has not had a major charge of police brutality raised against it during this climate of  “Black Lives Matter.

His next course of action was to level the playing field when it came to promotions. In the past, white officers held a huge advantage when it came to advancing up the ranks. Suddenly, black officers were passing the promotional exam in larger numbers than white officers. The white officers pushed back and alleged that cheating was occurring on the promotional exam. The cheating scandal threatened to waylay the Jackson administration before it could get underway. To remedy this situation, Jackson jettisoned his two top aides over the cheating allegations, Emma Darnell and A. Reginald Eaves.

Darnell left in a huff and opposed Jackson for reelection in 1979. Eaves ran for a seat on the Fulton County Commission and won. The city of Atlanta went back to the police chief position after Eaves left the city. There has never been another Public Safety Commissioner in Atlanta city government.

He served on the Fulton County Commission until 1988 when the federal government in an effort to blunt the growing political power of black elected officials instituted what has been dubbed “Operation Blue Eyes/Green Eyes/Brown Eyes.”

Eaves would later tell a class of newly elected officials from throughout the south about this federal sting operation in an effort to school them to the perils that awaited well intended black elected officials.

According to one graduate of Eaves freshman orientation course for newly elected black officials, this operation was lead by the FBI and was designed to entrap Eaves, Maynard Jackson and Elgin Bell, the top black officials in Atlanta at that time. Jackson and Bell escaped the dragnet, Eaves, the law enforcement official, let his guard down and fell into the government trap. He learned a valuable lesson.

Eaves spent the next 27 years of his life mentoring young black elected officials in the methods used by the government in entangling them in schemes they otherwise would not have devised on their own. Also, he showed them  how offers of money in exchange for a political favor are made to appear legitimate, until the government is ready to take you down.

“Mr. Commish,” although largely unrecognized and undaunted by public scandal, stopped police brutality, promoted black policer officers  and mentored the next generation of black elected officials on how to avoid government plots to eliminate blacks from electoral politics.

A mighty, mighty “drum major” for the people.

 

Harold Michael Harvey, is the author of the legal thriller “Paper Puzzle,” and “Justice in the Round: Essays on the American Jury System,” available at Amazon and at haroldmichaelharvey.com. He can be contacted at hmharvey@haroldmichaelharvey.com

 

Teachers, Mobsters, Oh My

By Michael April 2, 2015 0

I went to bed last night shaking my head in disbelief. I woke up this morning feeling odd and thinking that teachers and mobsters used in the same sentence is an incongruous thought.  Surely, I had dreamed that 11 teachers in the Atlanta Public Schools had been convicted of racketeering in an organized crime scheme to defraud Atlanta inner city children out of an education.

How can this be? How is it that teachers in Atlanta have been elevated to the level of Al Capone,  Mexican drug cartels, and other slimy creatures whose conduct leave death and destruction in their wake?

I am biased, after all I was raised by a school teacher, Elaine Harvey, who put 35 years into educating other people’s children, oftentimes in school districts with little parental involvement. She would have stayed longer in the profession, but around the late 1980s parents continuously complained about stories she used to motivate their children to  learn. “Who do she think she is,” they would complain to the principal. So she went home and worked with her grandchildren.

I’ve taught both on the secondary level and on the post secondary level. In 1974, I taught fourth grade in the same fourth grade classroom that I had been a fourth grade student 14 years before.

Since I was the only male teacher in the school I was given many of the underachieving fourth graders and only three or four high achievers. It was a chore to teach that class. early I found that traditional teaching methods would not work, so I devised stories about the student’s history and ancestry in order to motivate them to learn.

It worked. They felt better about themselves. They paid attention. Discipline problems were down and their test scores were up.

The other teachers began to complain about my unorthodox teaching methods. It was not what they had been taught in school and my students were doing better than theirs. So the principal in the middle of the term relieved me of my duties. He said he needed someone in the classroom with an undergraduate degree in elementary education.

Thirty years later, two of the students in that classroom tracked me down on Facebook and told me how bewildered they were after I had been unrooted from their classroom. Both of them credited their brief time with me as being key to their success in life.

Teaching kids to be successful in learning the life skills that will contribute to their success is what education should be.

Today, education, like it was in 1974, is more about fitting students into a formula and if they can master it, the leaders of education can pat themselves on the back that their educational stewardship passed the test.

The only thing that this backward approach to teaching leads to is the criminalization of the teaching profession. In our ever changing world seeing teachers handcuffed and carted off to jail like mobsters is a sign of the deteriorating fabric of our society. Shaking my head is about all I can do.

 

Harold Michael Harvey, is the author of the legal thriller “Paper Puzzle,” and “Justice in the Round: Essays on the American Jury System,” available at Amazon and at haroldmichaelharvey.com. He can be contacted at hmharvey@haroldmichaelharvey.com