Thursday, April 12, 2001

Riots in Cincinnati

Hello from Cincinnati, a place CNN is calling the "City of Unrest."

We are experiencing some scary times here in Cincinnati. Stacy and I wanted to let you know we are doing fine in our corner of Cincinnati. We are on the northeast side, suburbia, so we are not experiencing the racial tension and riots like in the downtown area.
Don't know what I am talking about?

It all started on Monday with protest over last Saturday's police shooting of an African-American man, the 15th one of its kind since 1995.

Citing a ''clear and present danger,'' Mayor Charlie Luken today declared a state of emergency and imposed an 8 p.m. to 6 a.m. curfew for all persons throughout all of Cincinnati after violence, vandalism and looting spread out of the inner city late Wednesday and early today.

The city-wide lockdown applies to all events, including evening Good Friday services and Easter services Saturday night. The mayor has urged citizens to stay at home and pray.

City officials are still considering asking the National Guard for assistance as police continue to work long 12-hour shifts without relief.

There has been some extreme television coverage of the situation. I have seen footage of hundreds of people breaking store windows and dragging mannequins down the street, knocking over hot dog stands and stealing all the food, throwing newspaper stands into the street, stopping cars and pushing the owners out and throwing anything they can get their hands on at anything they see.

There are images of police using shotguns firing beanbag ammunition into crowds and drenching crowds in mace. There was some footage of a man walking toward a police line being shot in the chest with a beanbag. It knocked the guy right off his feet.

Many of these images have been shown on the national news and CNN the last several days.
Last night the riots got really bad and a policeman was shot. The bullet went under his vest and struck his belt buckle, which saved his life.

Last night, a white woman was dragged from her car by a crowd of black youths about 9:30 p.m. and ''beat to a pulp'' before police officers rescued her. This is only one of many instances.

SWAT teams barricaded blocks in an area of town hunting for a rooftop sniper last night.
Dumpster fires have become so commonplace that city firefighters stopped responding to them.
There is extensive coverage of all of this at

Aside from this scary situation, the trees are beginning to show their green, the flowers are blooming, the grass is thick and green and we have had some beautiful 85-degree weather. The thunderstorms hit late at night and the skies are blue all day long.

We hope you are doing well in your corner of the world.

Here's to a safe and peaceful night and a very Happy Easter holiday to you
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