(Cincinnati Riots) Police urge citizens to avoid downtown

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Police Urge Citizens To Avoid Downtown, Over The Rhine, West End

Web produced by: Liz Foreman, Updated: 4/10/01 10:22:41 PM

Although violent protests quieted down a bit late Tuesday night, police are still urging citizens to avoid going into the downtown, Over The Rhine and West End areas of Cincinnati.

Tuesday's rioting has continued late into the night, leaving a path of damage everywhere the protesters go. Protesters started marching the streets Monday, after Timothy Thomas, an African American teenager, was shot to death by police this past weekend.

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, which were counted at approximately 200 people at most, knocked over newspaper stands, trash cans, vendor's carts, outdoor statues and dozens of windows along their route.

Several drivers were caught up in the violence Tuesday. Protesters pulled several drivers out of their cars and hit them and their vehicles with bricks, rocks and glass. "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 woman who was caught in the middle of the mayhem when protesters broke her car windows.

The crowd also started several fires, including one at a Findlay Market business. As the night wore on, the rioters began looting businesses. A cell phone store, pawn shop and even some downtown bars lost merchandise to looters.

Almost all the businesses in the Main Street entertainment district were closed Tuesday due to either damage or fear of injury to customers. Around 3 p.m. Tuesday afternoon, a mob ran by Davis Furniture and broke out a display window. "I think it's absolutely terrible. They act like fools...I have no idea why they do this," Bob Deardorf of Davis Furniture said.

Across the street, the Jump Cafe and Bar lost its entire front window, leaving considerable damage and an angry manager. "I think it's absolutely ridiculous. I am not the one that caused all this to happen. This is my place of business. I'm a taxpayer. I've been in Over The Rhine for six years," said the manager.

Police in riot gear used every local resource available to stop the crowds. Police horses, tear gas, beanbag guns, rubber bullets and other crowd-control measures were all used at some point throughout the night. Police walked arm-in-arm on all sides of the crowd to try to confine the protesters to the Over The Rhine area.

Both Cincinnati City Hall and Cincinnati police headquarters have been under full lockdown since Tuesday. Police in full riot gear are guarding both buildings.

-- Swissrose (cellier3@mindspring.com), April 11, 2001


White people always look at these riots from
another perspective. People of color know that
the police routinely harass and kill their
people and a situation like this brings out
their anger. White's can't fathom the injustice
that minorities experience on a daily basis.

-- spider (spider0@usa.net), April 11, 2001.

Initial findings may not support officer's actions

For example, Officer Roach has told investigators
he fired because he thought Mr. Thomas was reaching
for a gun in his waistband. But no gun was found.

Cincinnati Enquirer

-- spider (spide0@usa.net), April 11, 2001.

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