City Council member shuts down Jefferson Park courts

A local news team found a city council member calling foul on basketball Tuesday. With tools in hand and residents questioning him, Cleveland City Council member Brian Kazy was blocking hoops at a local park.

Cleveland City Council member Brian Kazy, alongside a local resident, used steering wheel locks to block off the hoops at Jefferson Park on West 130th and Lorain Rd., according to Ed Gallek at Fox 8, who discovered him mid-effort.

“I have a problem with people playing basketball, gambling and carrying guns,” Kazy said.

Kazy made the decision to shut down the courts after three people were shot and one killed at the park on Monday, July 26. He said the courts attract gamblers and people carrying guns, so they had to go.

In the short term, Kazy hopes this will diffuse the violence, but he is still in search of a long-term solution.

Kazy said he reached out to Cleveland City Hall to do something about the violence and gambling at Jefferson Park, but decided to take on the issue himself. He plans on keeping the courts closed for a few weeks.

“I’m not gonna advocate for the hoops to permanently come down,” Kazy said. “But it’s a temporary fix until we can figure out what the root of the problem is and I hope that’s sooner rather than later.”

He also noted a social media post about a party at the courts, where people were encouraged to “BYOW” (bring your own weed).

Residents at the scene also offered their opinions on the matter.

While one man told Kazy these problems are “always gonna happen,” a local mother said she’d heard the shots Monday, and that “the hoops should be taken down.”

In April, basketball courts were shut down at Madison Park in Lakewood in response to gun violence there, but were put back up after public backlash after just two weeks.

Kazy is running unopposed for his seat on Cleveland City Council this year.

*Kazy did not respond to the request for comment on this story.