|Race Riots in Cincinnati:
News Stories and Links
Last Updated May 12, 2001
[THE WASHINGTON TIMES]
"The FBI in Cincinnati is pursuing hate-crimes charges against black rioters who randomly attacked whites in three incidents last month.
"FBI spokesman Ed Boldt said his division was working the cases, "which arose from allegations received after the disturbances. These were brought by complaints." Mr. Boldt declined to identify the race of the suspects.
"But a law enforcement source, speaking on the condition of anonymity, confirmed that the suspects were part of black gangs that rampaged during three days of disturbances in mid-April. ... some yanked white motorists from their cars and beat them.
"The riots were triggered by the April 7 police shooting death of Timothy Thomas, an unarmed 19-year-old black man, who was running from officers.
"These would be felonies and, under federal law, punishable by up to ten years," said Mike Allen, Hamilton County Prosecutor. Mr. Allen had previously questioned federal agencies' apparent lack of interest in pursuing numerous reports of hate crimes that were reported during the riots.
"The news is an answer of some kind for John Ridel, who has wondered if his case will get any attention. He filed a report with the Cincinnati police, saying he was beaten by a mob of 15 blacks in north Cincinnati as the downtown was raging last month. [He] said he was driving through the city with his fiancee and her 10-year-old son when a group of black protesters blocked his car. Mr. Ridel got out. They jumped him.
"I took two steps, thatīs the last thing I remember," he said.
When John Ridel filed a complaint with the Cincinnati police he said "They basically blew me off". So Ridel went to the FBI. "I'm glad to hear that someone may look into this," he added.
"The riots and the indictment of Stephen Roach, the officer who shot Timothy Thomas, have fueled a combustible racial stew in the city of 330,000. Traditionally popular events such as concerts and celebrations are being threatened by activist groups that promise to protest at them.
Cincinnati City Council member Pat DeWine had these thoughts about the threat of continued race riots:
(Based on the Washington Times story 5/11/01 by Steve Miller.)
[Last known link: http://www.washtimes.com/national/20010511-99983556.htm]
Cleanup Begins After A Night Of Riots (04/11/01)
"The cleanup has begun after Tuesday's night of rioting in downtown, Over The Rhine and the West End of Cincinnati.
"The second night of rioting continued late into night as crowds took to the streets, angry over the police shooting of an unarmed African American teenager.
"Although Tuesday's protests began as calmly as Monday's quiet opposition, protesters became angry late in the afternoon and started knocking down anything in their way. The protesters began roving the streets, knocking over newspaper stands, trash cans and vendor's carts and smashing dozens of windows along the way.
"Several [white] drivers were caught up in the violence Tuesday. Protesters pulled several [white] drivers out of their cars and hit them and their vehicles with bricks, rocks and glass. (see the video!)
"We got bombed. She was trying to take me home on 13th Street [and] they tried to kill us. There had to be about 50 of them running us backwards," said one [white] woman who was caught in the middle of the mayhem when protesters broke her car windows.
"Many businessmen [many of whom are non-black immigrants] who are trying to revitalize the area said they are wondering why the violence is aimed at them. "I think it's absolutely terrible. They act like fools...I have no idea why they do this," Bob Deardorf of Davis Furniture said."
(Based on the CinciNow.Com story produced by Liz Foreman 4/11/01 12:03:54 PM)
NAACP: Police 'declared war' on blacks (04/09/01)
"Cincinnati NAACP President Norma Holt Davis says Saturday's fatal shooting of an unarmed black man by a Cincinnati police officer leads her to only one conclusion. "It appears the police force has declared war on African-Americans," she says. [Ms. Davis did not comment upon the high rate of crimes committed by blacks in this city.]
"Fifteen black males have died at the hands of Cincinnati police in the past six years. ''Before the healing process can ever finish, the wound reopens,'' Rev. Damon Lynch III, president of Cincinnati Black United Front, said Sunday.
"... Ms. Davis said the initial investigation into Saturday's shooting is very disturbing to her. She noted that the victim, Timothy Thomas, 19, was unarmed and wanted for 14 failures to appear in court on various misdemeanor and traffic charges when he was shot and killed by officer Stephen Roach. ''It's outrageous and unacceptable that an unarmed suspect only wanted on misdemeanor charges was shot by a police officer,'' she said."
(Based on the Cincinnati Post story Apr. 9, 2001)
[Last Known Link: http://www.cincypost.com/2001/apr/09/reax040901.html]
Protest Continues Over Shooting (04/11/01)
"CINCINNATI, April 10 -- Police fired bean bags and rubber bullets to quell demonstrators who broke windows downtown today in a second day of protests over a white police officer's fatal shooting of an unarmed black man. About 50 people threw rocks and bottles at windows, and several were arrested, police said. No one was reported injured.
"The confrontation came four days after Timothy Thomas, 19, was fatally shot as he ran from a police officer trying to arrest him on 14 misdemeanor warrants, including traffic violations.
"[Cincinnati] Police said Officer Steve Roach spotted Thomas in a high-crime area and chased him a short distance until he cornered him in a dark alley. City Councilman Jim Tarbell said Thomas was shot once in the chest at relatively close range by Roach, who reportedly thought Thomas was reaching for a weapon in his waistband."
The Washington Post reported that the Rev. Damon Lynch III, head of the civil rights group called "Cincinnati Black United Front" said that the violence and criminal behavior of blacks in Cincinnati "allowed people to vent some of their frustration and anger."
(Based on the Associated Press report in the Washington Post, page A09, 04/11/01)
[Last known link: http://washingtonpost.com/ac2/wp-dyn/A2353-2001Apr10?language=printer]
City Quiet After Nights of Riots (04/11/01)
"CINCINNATI About a dozen downtown businesses were boarded up Wednesday and glass littered sidewalks following two nights of protests over the police shooting of an unarmed black man.
"On Tuesday [04/10/01], gangs of roving [black] youths looted stores, set fires and attacked [white and some other non-black] motorists with bricks, forcing residents to lock themselves indoors while clergy members and politicians appealed for calm." [See especially the news videos!]
"The rioting was sparked by the killing of Timothy Thomas, 19, who was shot while fleeing a white police officer. Thomas, 19, wanted on 14 misdemeanor warrants, was the fourth black man killed by police since November.
Police Spc. Scott Johnson is the head of the Sentinel Police Association, a black officer's group in Cincinnati. He said "There is fear everywhere. There is fear in the police and on the other side, and people are not distinguishing between those who are causing trouble and those who are bringing peace."
"Earlier Tuesday, officers clad in helmets and shields set up protective rings around City Hall and police headquarters and fired bean bags and rubber bullets at about 50 demonstrators who roamed downtown streets throwing rocks, cans and bottles.
"Police on horseback, accompanied by shotgun-armed foot patrols, arrested 66 people on rioting, disorderly conduct and other charges. Fire department paramedics took about 25 people to hospitals and treated about 40 others on the streets, said police Lt. Ray Ruberg."
"Police union president Keith Fangman said the officer, Steve Roach, thought Thomas had a gun and feared for his life. Roach was placed on paid administrative leave, which is standard procedure after police shootings."
(Based on the Associated Press story by Lisa Cornwell, as published in the Washington Post 04/11/01)
[Last known link: http://washingtonpost.com/ac2/wp-dyn/A4746-2001Apr11?language=printer]
Video of the Black Rioters: Cincinnati's TV Channel 9 has been providing excellent coverage of the looting and vandalism. See especially Videos of the Race Riots.