Tags: Cincinnati | Leaders | Appeal | for | Calm

Cincinnati Leaders Appeal for Calm

Wednesday, 11 April 2001 12:00 AM

Police arrested 20 people and 25 were hospitalized after a second night of violence near downtown. About 40 people were treated for injuries, including white motorists stopped and pulled from their cars in the Over-the-Rhine district.

Shop owners and sanitation crews cleaned streets littered with debris and broken glass in a 10-square-block area.

Black leaders called for nonviolence and a cooling-off period.

"Feelings and emotions are deep at this point. People are crying, enough is enough," the Rev. James W. Jones, first vice president of Baptist Ministers Conference, told the Cincinnati Enquirer.

"They've been crying out to city fathers to bring justice, and it fell on deaf ears. How long will people suffer and believe that they have not been heard? I don't want any riot. I don't want any mob activity."

The City Council canceled a scheduled meeting at the request of Cecil Thomas, executive director of the Cincinnati Human Relations Commission, and public safety officials. Rock-throwers had broken out several windows at City Hall.

Police in riot gear fired tear gas, rubber bullets and beanbag ammunition to disperse the crowd as they faced off Tuesday night. Vandals looted and burned some stores, while others were untouched.

Hamilton County prosecutors and the FBI have opened a civil rights investigation into Saturday's shooting of Timothy Thomas, 19, who was killed by a single shot as he ran from police. Thomas was the fourth young black man killed by police since November. Cincinnati police have killed 15 people since 1995, all of them black.

"We are a city that is divided. We are a city that needs healing," said Mayor Charles Luken. "It's time to cool off. We don't want anybody else to get hurt."

Racial tensions have flared in the Queen City since the shooting. Protesters disrupted a council committee meeting Monday where Angela Leisure, Thomas's mother, made an emotional speech.

"I've heard you acknowledge the fact that you took a part of my life from me," said Leisure. "I demand to know why."

Police have not said why officer Steve Roach shot Thomas, who was unarmed. Thomas was being sought on 14 misdemeanor warrants for traffic violations and offenses such as driving without a license and failure to wear a seat belt.

Copyright 2001 by United Press International.

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Police arrested 20 people and 25 were hospitalized after a second night of violence near downtown. About 40 people were treated for injuries, including white motorists stopped and pulled from their cars in the Over-the-Rhine district. Shop owners and sanitation crews...
Cincinnati,Leaders,Appeal,for,Calm
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2001-00-11
Wednesday, 11 April 2001 12:00 AM
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