Cleveland Consent Decree - session 6 - family resilience

The following stories and related photos are provided by family members.

Brenda Bickerstaff

Ms. Bickerstaff is the sister of Craig Bickerstaff who was 27 years old when he died in 2002.

The Truth about Craig Bickerstaff, who was killed by Officer Raymond Chipgus on January 26th 2002 told Mary Bounds Craig Drew a gun on him, and he shot Craig in the back while he was running away, Chipqus shot Craig five times in the back. A similar situation  happens today in November 2020 like Craig, Arthur Keith threw his gun away and was shot in the back by a CMHA officer.  In a sworn deposition taken from Kathleen Hopkins  and Associates, Chipqus stated that Craig's physical size out weight him 250 so he shot him. Therefore Craig never drew a gun on Raymond Chipgus as he previously stated. 

Craig your sister hears cry everyday from your grave, stopping is not an option in getting justice for you and others who have died by the hands of the Cleveland police. Craig loved his family especially his sisters Jeannette, Glenda, Sheila, Linda, Brenda, Lavonnie, Gloria and Vernel. He was light of the family. He would go around to all his sisters and collect money and say he did not have any, later we would find Craig in his room counting the money which added up to hundreds of dollars.

I believe Officers who kills citizens, should pay a price, prison is where they need to be. The sad part about it, judges in this county do not have the heart to send Officers to prisons they go along to get alone, and let the officers use their famous phrase, "I was in fear of my life." That phrase has helped Officers flee from, accountability,  justice and consequences. Judge Vonda Evans of Inkster Michigan did not let officer William Melendez off for beating Floyd Dent she was not afraid of accountability.

Alicia Kirkman

Ms. Kirkman is the mother of Angelo Miller who was 17 years old when he died in 2007.

Angelo's story as told by his mother, Alicia Kirkman

The truth about Angelo: The 911 tape-recorded Cleveland police officer John Lundy telling Angelo to put his hands up and Angelo saying My hands are up sir. He doesn’t have anything and he wasn’t doing anything wrong. Angelo’s hands were up inside the car. Off-duty Cleveland police officer John Lundy shot his car up 8 times and one bullet struck him in the back and Killed 17 year old Angelo Easy Miller.

Hope: Angelo Miller was funny, loving, and caring Teenager was never embarrassed to give his mother a kiss especially when she drops him off at school in the mornings. He was 17 years old Angelo attended East High School. Angelo left behind two children who he loved so very deeply. His kids was One years old when he was murdered and he was a great father to his two sons. He was full of joy and laughter. Angelo knew how to turn your frown into a smile. His Grandfather and Mother called him his gentle giant and his mother also called Angelo her bouncing baby boy. Angelo look just like his mother He kept his whole family laughing. He was loved by his Mom, Dad and Grandmother, Grandfather all his Sisters, Brothers, Aunties, Uncles, Cousins and his Friends.

Justice: Alicia will not stop fighting until the police is charged with murder For the killing of her son Angelo Miller. She believes that police officers need more training, And she also feel that the police department needs to be dismantled and reform including on how to handle Citizens without using deadly force. Alicia has been fighting tirelessly to re-open her son's case for 14 years. She has been working on her sons legacy for several years in the
Angelo Miller Foundation inc.

Bernadette Rolen

Ms. Rolen is the mother of Daniel Ficker who was 27 years old when he died in 2011.

Daniel's story as told by his mother, Bernadette

My son was 27 years old when his life was abruptly taken at the hands of a rogue Cleveland police officer, out of his jurisdiction, in the city of Parma. My son was unarmed and shot and killed at his doorstep in Parma, Ohio on 7-04-2011. He left behind his fiancée/high school sweetheart along with their 2 children, who were 5 and 7 at the time. My son was a hard working employee of almost 10 years as a mechanic at Legend Automotive. He was a wonderful father, provider for his family, son, grandson, brother, and friend to many.

I've had a memorial event in honor of my son for the past 10 years, excluding 2020, due to COVID restrictions. The event is called the Annual Memorial for Dan Ficker and usually draws well over 100 people as well as media attention. The event is held at Coe Lake in Berea, Ohio. This year's event will be held on Sunday June 27, 2021. The proceeds of the event are donated to Cornerstone of Hope (COH) in Independence, Ohio. COH helped my family in our time of need. They provide grief counseling as well as small groups, camp for kids, and many other activities for families who have experienced loss. I am currently a volunteer at COH, but the volunteering has been very limited due to COVID restrictions. I hope to get back to the facility and volunteering in the near future.