Highest-ranking black, female Dayton officer alleges discrimination

Published: Wednesday, September 27, 2017 @ 3:51 PM
Updated: Wednesday, September 27, 2017 @ 4:27 PM

Dayton police lawsuit

The highest-ranking black woman in the Dayton police department is suing the city for discriminatory employment practices. It’s the second lawsuit brought by a female officer in the past year.

In a federal lawsuit filed this week, Dayton police Lt. Kimberly Hill claims that the city declined to promote her because of her race, sex and her “desire to make changes to the racist tactics of the city of Dayton,” the lawsuit states.

RELATED: Dayton police department is overwhelmingly white, male

Hill’s lawsuit claims the city retaliated against her for trying to make real changes to improve police-community relations when she became commander of the Professional Standards Bureau.

Hill claims her subordinates in the department did not take her authority seriously because she is female.

The lawsuit says Hill was treated poorly for trying to ensure citizens’ complaints against police were responded to properly.

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Hill’s lawsuit is seeking more than $75,000 in damages.

City of Dayton spokeswoman Toni Bankston said, “The city does not make comments regarding personnel matters or ongoing litigation.”

In October 2016, Dayton police Sgt. Tonina Lamanna sued the department for gender discrimination.

RELATED: Dayton police Sgt. sues department for gender discrimination

Dayton’s U.S. District Court records show Lamanna claimed “ongoing ordeals” in the department for several years, including that she was not being hired to jobs for which she said she was the most qualified.

The suit — brought by the same attorney Hill hired — said that Lamanna was asked inappropriate gender-related questions such as “what she would do if she got pregnant” and if she “felt she was strong enough” to handle a canine.

Lamanna’s case is currently scheduled to go to trial in November 2018.

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Teen held in slaying of Dayton mom in front of two kids

Published: Saturday, February 24, 2018 @ 10:26 AM
Updated: Saturday, February 24, 2018 @ 11:52 AM

Connected to Lorenz Avenue homicide

A 17-year-old male accused of fatally shooting a Dayton mother in front of two young children will remain in custody following a detention hearing this morning.

The teen, who was arrested and placed in detention Friday, is suspected of killing 22-year-old Keyona Murray, who was shot in the head in a home on the 100 block of Lorenz Ave. in Dayton on Feb. 16.

Neighbors and a 911 caller who reported Murray’s shooting said the gunfire occurred outside the home, around back in an alley.

The teen denied a charge of murder and felony burglary at today’s hearing at Montgomery County Juvenile Court.

The teen will appear in court for a preliminary conference on the morning of March 9 before Juvenile Court Judge Anthony Capizzi.

Police said the suspect was taken into custody after being found at a residence on Gard Avenue in Dayton.

Janice Meadows, who has lived on Lorenz Avenue for 30 years, called 911 on Feb. 16 after hearing gunshots outside.

“I knew the gunshots were close from how loud it was,” she said. “I thought someone was shooting toward my house — it sounded that close.”

Meadows lives a couple doors down from where Murray was shot. Murray moved into the rental home around the end of summer, she said.

“We’re really sorry we didn’t have time to get to know them,” she said. “It’s such a tragedy.”

Meadows says its a safe neighborhood because the residents know each and most have lived there for many years. Sometimes small groups hang out on the streets or corners, but the neighbors will call the police if there’s too much activity, she said.

“We’ll call because we’ve got children and grandchildren,” she said.

A candlelight vigil was held for Murray earlier this week outside the site of the shooting.

The suspected shooter, who lived in the northwest part of the city, has a substantial criminal record, according to court officials.

RELATED: Coroner: Victim in Lorenz Ave. shooting dies, identified

EARLIER REPORTS

UPDATE @ 4:30 p.m. (Feb. 23): A 17-year-old male has been arrested and booked into the Montgomery County Juvenile Detention Center on a preliminary charge of murder in the Feb. 16 shooting of 22-year-old Keyona Murray, Dayton police said.

The teenager has a criminal history, according to investigators.

Court officials said he has been in trouble before on charges that include delinquency by reason of unauthorized use of a motor vehicle, delinquency by reason of breaking and entering and delinquency by reason of burglary.

Officials said he had recently completed probation.

INITIAL REPORT

A reward of up to $2,500 is being offered for information that leads to the arrest of anyone involved in the shooting death of a woman shot in front of two children on Feb. 16.

Keyona Murray, 22, died at Miami Valley Hospital after medics took her from a home in the 100 block of Lorenz Avenue in Dayton where she had been shot in the head, according to police.

Murray was sitting in a bedroom with her 2-year-old child, 2-year-old nephew and another adult when someone fired numerous times into the house.

Miami Valley Crime Stoppers is offering the reward and said anyone providing tips can remain anonymous.

“We also know that in all likelihood, someone in the community knows who committed this heinous crime, so Miami Valley Crime Stoppers is offering up to a $2,500 reward for information leading to the arrest or arrests of anyone involved,” the organization said in a prepared statement.

“Keyona succumbed to her injuries later that night, leaving many to mourn her loss after this senseless act of violence.”

Got a tip? Call our monitored 24-hour line, 937-259-2237, or send it to newsdesk@cmgohio.com

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Dayton special election set; Fairchild, Ward declare candidacies

Published: Friday, February 23, 2018 @ 12:11 PM
Updated: Friday, February 23, 2018 @ 4:15 PM


            Daryl Ward and Darryl Fairchild.
Daryl Ward and Darryl Fairchild.

The Dayton City Commission on Friday voted to hold a special election on May 8 to replace Commissioner Joey Williams, who has resigned after 16 years in office.

Two well-known faith leaders have already declared for the seat: Darryl Fairchild and Daryl Ward.

Though Williams was re-elected to a fifth term in November, he officially stepped down Friday, a decision he says was motivated by a more demanding travel schedule related to his new job.

The election is 74 days away, but Dayton residents who wish to replace Williams have just two weeks to collect 500 signatures of registered Dayton electors to appear on the ballot. The deadline is March 9.

RELATED: Dayton Commissioner Joey Williams to resign 4 months after re-election

That is a tall order considering that commission hopefuls usually have months to acquire the necessary signatures, said Fairchild, who has run for the seat twice before.

On Friday afternoon, Ward, the senior pastor of Omega Baptist Church, announced he is dropping out of the Montgomery County Commission race to instead run to try to replace Williams on the city commission.

Fairchild said the timing of Williams’ announcement seems deliberate to create a short window to discourage people from running. Dayton municipal special elections must take place 60 to 90 days after a vacancy on the commission.

Fairchild, the manager of chaplain services at Dayton Children’s Hospital, fell just 208 votes short of winning a spot on the commission in 2015, when he was edged out by political newcomer Chris Shaw.

RELATED: 5 things to know about Dayton Commissioner Joey Williams’ resignation

He and another challenger were defeated by a much larger margin in November 2071 by Williams and incumbent Commissioner Jeffrey Mims Jr.

Fairchild said since November’s election, Dayton has seen some of the negative consequences of failing to address the issues he says he prioritizes, including neighborhood development.

“We have Good Sam closing, we’ve got schools potentially closing, we’ve got Aldi’s closing and we have threats to our water well field,” he said.

Fairchild said he would push the city to develop a comprehensive plan for its neighborhoods, similar to the plans the city has for downtown and the Webster Station neighborhood.

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At a Friday press conference, more than 40 people joined Ward at the Montgomery County Board of Elections to show their support as he took out a nomination petition.

Ward was flanked by family members and friends and the crowd included all four members of the Dayton commission and Montgomery County Commissioner Dan Foley.

Rev. Ward said he is running for commission because of his love for the city and its citizens.

Ward said he was very sick several years ago, but though his body was shutting down, his vital organs were intact and strong.

“That’s like Dayton — we’ve got a lot of problems, but we have people, we have water, we have the strength of a wonderful history,” he said. “I would be so proud to be a part of helping that history become a bright future.”

Ward said his best traits are his maturity and wisdom and he’s an excellent listener who is detail-oriented.

Dayton’s last special election to fill a vacancy was in June 2001, when Edythe Lewis won a seat to complete the term of her husband, Lloyd E. Lewis Jr., who died about three months earlier.

Office-seekers had a short window to file a petition after the city had passed an ordinance calling for a special election: Just 10 days.

Edythe Lewis finished the last remaining months on her husband’s first term in office.

Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley said it will be challenging for Dayton residents who want to serve on the commission to get the signatures they need in two weeks. But, she said, it’s been done before in even shorter time frames.

“It can be done, it just takes incredible organization, which is something you need to be a city commissioner anyway,” she said.

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Dayton Commissioner Joey Williams to resign 4 months after re-election

Published: Wednesday, February 21, 2018 @ 5:55 PM

Joey Williams resigns

Less than four months after winning re-election, long-time Dayton City Commissioner Joey Williams tonight announced he is stepping down, effective Friday.

The 52-year-old Williams, the top vote-getter in the Dayton commission race in November, has served on the body since 2002. But tonight’s city commission meeting will be his last as an elected Dayton leader.

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Williams said he ran for re-election last year expecting to complete his full four-year term, but his work responsibilities have grown so much since being named the new Dayton market president of KeyBank. KeyBank publicly announced his hiring about two days after the election.

Williams said he quickly realized that the amount of travel involved in his new role would be difficult to juggle with his commission duties.

RELATED: Re-elected Dayton commissioners after win: ‘We’ve got momentum’

He said he typically missed a few commission meetings each year. Since November, Williams said he has been missing at least one meeting each month.

“It’s really not fair to the community if I can’t put the proper time and effort into the job,” he said. “I had no idea this job was in my future.”

Williams also told this news organization that his new job creates more potential for conflicts of interest since he’s more heavily involved with bank activities and its customers.

The city will host a special municipal election during the primary election on May 8, which is 76 days away.

To fill vacancies, the commission determines by ordinance a special election that must take place 60 to 90 days after the vacancy occurs, according to city charter.

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Dayton residents who want to replace Williams will need to collect at least 500 signatures of registered electors by March 9, which is 60 days before the election, according to the city charter .

If the city had to host a special election just to fill Williams’ vacant seat, it would cost more than $100,000, said Steve Harsman, deputy director of the Montgomery County Board of Elections.

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But costs should be minimal — perhaps $6,000 to $8,000 — if the race is placed on the May 8 primary election ballot, Harsman said.

Williams said the timing of his departure is intended to avoid a special election.

“I didn’t want the community to have to have a special election as a result of me having to resign,” Williams said. “I wanted to do it at a time that corresponded with a primary or general election.”

Williams’ colleagues on the commission praised his contributions and leadership.

“When (people) go back and look at the history of the city the last decade and more, they are going to point to you as maybe the main reason we as a commission was able to lead and bring the city out of one of the worst crises we’ve ever seen,” said Commissioner Matt Joseph.

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Funk legend and member of Ohio Players dies

Published: Thursday, February 16, 2017 @ 4:00 PM

Dayton is considered the Land of Funk. Here is why. Video by Amelia Robinson

A legendary member of the Ohio Players has died, according to news reports and a post on his official Facebook page from his daughter.

Walter “Junie” Morrison, a noted producer, keyboardist and singer, is credited with writing The Ohio Players major hits “Pain,” “Pleasure”, “Ecstasy” and “Funky Worm.”

Morrison, a Dayton native, was 62. 

Photos of Walter "Junie" Morrison from the Dayton Daily News archive at Wright State University.

>>MORE: Funk Music Hall of Fame opening in downtown Dayton after long battle

>>MORE: 8 Dayton acts you should give a funk about

“Dear friends and colleagues, we lost another great one. I’m sure you can agree that Junie will be greatly missed. I wasn’t around my father much, but somehow I am like him in so many ways. In that regard, thank you for your support and respect of our privacy during this time,” Akasha Morrison wrote.

Morrison was a 1997 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Inductee and was also co-creator, writer and producer of “One Nation (Under A Groove)” and “(Not Just) Knee Deep” by Parliament Funkadelic, according to juniemorrison.com.

In the 1970s and 1980s, southwestern Ohio — particularly Dayton’s west side — was known for its stable of funk bands whose influence can be heard in hip-hop, house and other musical forms popular today.

Morrison inspired singer Solange’s recent song “Junie” on her 2016 “A Seat at the Table” album.

Gregory Webster, the original leader of the Ohio Players, said Morrison, who was hired into The Ohio Players shortly after he graduated from Roosevelt High School.

“He was really friendly,” Webster said of Morrison. “He was young, but we got him together.”  

Longtime WDAO radio show host John “Turk” Logan said “Pain” — a song Morrison wrote, produced and played most of the instruments on — was the first “funky” song from a Dayton group that he played.

Logan managed Morrison for a short time after he left the Ohio Players.

Photos of Walter "Junie" Morrison from the Dayton Daily News archive at Wright State University.

“Junie was an extraordinary talent. The guy had a sixth sense about the music business,” said Logan, a 1968 Roosevelt graduate. “Junie was a handful because he was a genius.”

>> MORE: Ohio Players frontman Leroy ‘Sugarfoot’ Bonner dies

>> MORE: Ohio Players' bassist Marshall "Rock" Jones dies

Dayton musician Ronald Frost of the band The Deele said Morrison was a critical member of The Ohio Players.

“When Junie came, that’s when they became extra funky,” Frost said. 

Frost’s father Ronald “Nooky” Nooks played with The Ohio Players sometimes after Morrison left the band in 1974 for a solo career.

He released three solo albums on Westbound Records.

Frost was a big fan of Morrison’s work. 

“Junie was just a different kind of musician. He was totally incredible,” Frost said. 

Morrison was induced into the Funk Music Hall of Fame & Exhibition Center based in downtown Dayton last year. 

Hall of Fame president David Webb said Morrison was a great musician who supported preserving funk’s heritage. 

“We are praying for his family,” Webb said.

Response on Facebook to word of the funk legend’s passing was swift. 

“Junie Morrison WAS funk to me and many others,” one comment read.

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