Tags: Cincinnati | Calm | After | Curfew

Cincinnati Calm After Curfew

Friday, 13 April 2001 12:00 AM

Police arrested 153 people Thursday night for violating the 8 p.m. to 6 a.m. curfew.

The curfew, which continues into the Easter weekend, forced rescheduling of the historic Praying of the Steps at Holy Cross-Immaculata Church. The blessing, a 140-year tradition in the Queen City, usually begins at midnight on Good Friday but was held at 6:30 a.m.

"As of right now the curfew does stand," said a mayor's office spokesman.

Police Chief Tom Streicher said the curfew kept the city quiet. "We are going to conduct daily evaluations ... to determine how long it should go."

Neighboring suburbs also are enforcing curfews. Violators face a possible $1,000 fine and a maximum six months in jail. Hundreds of people gathered downtown at a special interfaith service at Fountain Square.

Metro bus service is canceled during curfew hours and weekend events including sports events, concerts and plays had to be rescheduled.

Ohio State Police troopers joined Cincinnati officers on patrols in the predominately African-American Over-the-Rhine district where clashes began Monday in the wake of the fatal shooting of an unarmed black teenager by a white police officer.

Timothy Thomas, 19, was the fourth African-American man killed by police since November and the 15th black male killed by officers since 1995. A large crowd was expected at his funeral Saturday afternoon.

NAACP President Kwesi Mfune, who spoke at the New Friendship Baptist Church in Avondale before the curfew began, said Cincinnati had one of the worst records of racial profiling in the nation. "This is a strange situation in Cincinnati, 15 black men killed in six years," Mfume said.

The civil rights leader met with Angela Leisure, Thomas's mother, and pledged the NAACP would support residents seeking answers from police and Mayor Charles Luken, who declared the first state of emergency in the city since 1968, when racial violence erupted after the killing of Martin Luther King Jr.

"I want to see him treated in the same manner I would be treated if I had killed someone," Leisure said, referring Officer Steve Roach, 27, who killed her son. Thomas was fleeing arrest on 14 misdemeanor and traffic warrants when he was struck by a single gunshot last Saturday.

"We cannot deny that we have a serious racial divide," Luken said.

Chief Streicher accused troublemakers of taking advantage of legitimate protests to commit crimes. "It's a larger issue than police-community relations. You've got health, you've got economy, education, you've got all these issues -- all these systems that are failing in America -- and people want to blame it on the police and it's just not so," Streicher said.

Mfune walked the streets asking blacks to remain calm and urging both sides to act responsibly.

"Nowhere else in America are you going to find a city where 15 African-American men have been killed in the last 15 years, four since November, and 10 of the police officers in the instances have been reinstated, Mfune said on ABC's "Good Morning America."

"Black people in this city believe they are treated differently because of the color of their skin and there is proof positive in communities that police officers, many of them, just don't care about that. They walk around in a kind of 'macho' way and they bring a dishonor to the good men and women who are out trying to patrol these communities in the right way."

Copyright 2001 by United Press International.

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Police arrested 153 people Thursday night for violating the 8 p.m. to 6 a.m. curfew. The curfew, which continues into the Easter weekend, forced rescheduling of the historic Praying of the Steps at Holy Cross-Immaculata Church. The blessing, a 140-year tradition in the...
Cincinnati,Calm,After,Curfew
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2001-00-13
Friday, 13 April 2001 12:00 AM
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