Item #1: Oral history interview with Brenda Bickerstaff, describing her personal history with police violence, as well as her commitment to activism.
Transcript: Okay, well first back in January 26, 2002, my brother Craig Bickerstaff was murdered by police on East 105th and Lee. July—retract that—back in 2012, March of 2012, I was wrongfully indicted by an officer, a detective by the name of Vincent Lucarelli. I have an investigation business as well. Was trying to get an individual out of jail. Apparently he was having a relationship with my client’s girlfriend, and I found that out after—you know, once I got indicted. We pulled text messages and found out he was not only having, trying to have relations with her. He had been, had relations with other women. So they dismissed the case against me, and he was terminated from his job. July 26, 2015, my niece Ralkina Jones was found dead in the Cleveland Heights jail, and that is still under investigation. So unfortunately, our family has been—not, I won’t say brutalized, but we’ve had some pretty tough experiences with the police. And it’s just, it’s a hard, it’s a hard thing to deal with, especially me losing Ralkina now. And now she has to be on a poster like Craig because of the situation she went through. And she was arrested, however that wasn’t the issue. The issue was that she died in their custody. And we’re trying to find out why she died in their custody. Unanswered questions and things we went through when we were dealing with Craig. And it’s just, it’s just a hard thing to deal with. But I’m not going to give up on it . . . . I want people to be able to stand up. Don’t be afraid. Don’t be afraid to speak about it, because a lot of people are. Like today, we’re right here on 105 and Saint Clair. I’m here because I’ve been a victim of it, my brother’s been a victim of it, and now my niece has been a victim of it. And I’ve been a true advocate of this. And I want people to be able to be comfortable and speak about it and don’t worry about any type of retaliation. I want them to come forward. Do not be afraid.
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