WHAT SHOULD I BE DOING INSTEAD OF THIS?
 
 
by Nick Swartsell 11.25.2014 7 hours ago
Posted In: News at 09:36 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
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Ferguson Solidarity Rally in Cincinnati Draws Hundreds

Three-hour march shut down I-75, passed through OTR and West End

A rally in protest of recent police shootings of unarmed black men drew as many as 300 downtown Tuesday evening. The rally was followed by a nearly three-hour march that made its way through downtown, Over-the-Rhine and the West End before briefly shutting down I-75 as protesters streamed onto the highway. The rally and march were in solidarity with Ferguson, Mo., where black 18-year-old Michael Brown was shot Aug. 9 by white Ferguson Police Officer Darren Wilson. Yesterday a grand jury in St. Louis County declined to indict Wilson, spurring angry civil unrest in the area and demonstrations in cities across the country. In Cincinnati, the march through downtown neighborhoods had echoes of the city’s past — civil unrest lasting days tore through the same communities in 2001 after unarmed black teenager Timothy Thomas was shot by a white Cincinnati Police Officer Stephen Roach in OTR.Protesters briefly shut down I-75 during a rally remembering vicitms of police shootings Nov. 25.Nick Swartsell “Honestly, after the decision yesterday I was a bit numb,” said Curtis Webb, as he marched through downtown. “I even questioned whether I would come out tonight. I’m tired of hearing the talk. I’m more interested in seeing the walk about these situations. As a black man, I’m… I don’t know. I’m scared to be black. I don’t know how to say it. I’m always questioning, am I doing the right thing? Do I look too dangerous? Are the police going to pull me over?”Protester at the Potter Stewart U.S. Courthouse Nov. 25.Jesse FoxProtesters march through West End Nov. 25.Nick SwartsellCincinnati’s demonstrations started with a rally at the Potter Stewart U.S. Courthouse on Fifth Street attended by State Senator-elect Cecil Thomas, State Rep. Alicia Reece, community organizer Rev. Damon Lynch  III and Mayor John Cranley among others.At the initial gathering on the steps of the Potter Stewart U.S. Courthouse, Cranley highlighted the progress Cincinnati has made since 2001. "Like all of you, I am deeply concerned about the loss of life and the events that are unfolding in Ferguson, Mo," he said. "I can sympathize with all aspects of what the community is experiencing because Cincinnati has had similar tensions in the past. It wasn’t easy, and there were a lot of trial and errors, but we made progress."Over shouts of “no justice, no peace,” and “hands up, don’t shoot,” the speakers there urged peace and calm, but some also expressed anger at the deaths of Brown and others killed in similar incidents closer to home. These include the Aug. 6 police shooting of John Crawford III in a Beavercreek Walmart and Tamir Rice, the Cleveland 12-year-old shot by police in a park in Cleveland last week. Both were carrying toy guns. Both were black.Anger from some speakers focused on a failure by a grand jury to indict Crawford’s shooter, Beavercreek Police Officer Sean Williams.“We are here today to say ‘no more business as usual,” Reece said, her voice rising to a shout. “We are here today to say ‘John Crawford, we will remember you. Mike Brown, we will remember you.’” Reece said she’s pushing for a federal investigation of Crawford’s shooting and a state law named after him that will put new requirements on the appearance of toy guns to make them look less like real ones.Protesters gather at the Potter Stewart U.S. Courthouse Nov. 25Jesse FoxState Sen. Cecil Thomas speaks to the crowd gathered at the Potter Stewart U.S. Courthouse Nov. 25.Nick Swartsell“I spent twenty-seven years in law enforcement, and not once did I fire my weapon to harm someone,” Cecil Thomas said, his voice raw and pained. “And all of a sudden, we see so many officers so quick to pull their guns. How do you pull your gun on a 12-year-old when someone tells you it looks like he has a toy gun? We have to change the way we do our policing.” Thomas was a peacemaker during the 2001 unrest, working with police, community groups and the city's Human Relations Commission to broker calm.Many attendees at the initial rally joined in a meandering march that stopped traffic in many of the city’s major streets and passed just feet from the spot where Timothy Thomas was shot in 2001. However, the rally was much more peaceful than the days of unrest thirteen years ago. About 20 police followed the march, blocking off streets and working to corral protesters. Organizers with the Cincinnati chapter of the National Action Network say they the march was not part of their plans for the rally.Police arrest a protester at a Nov. 25 march in memory of victims of police shootingsNick SwartsellTensions rose when protesters, after making their way down Ezzard Charles Dr. in the West End, split off onto a highway onramp, spilling over a berm and onto the north-bound lane of I-75. Police blocked off traffic temporarily, but drove protesters off the highway with the threat of arrest. A few protesters were arrested when they didn’t leave quickly enough. After leaving the highway, the march continued through the city for another hour, eventually dissipating at the Justice Center on Court and Main Streets.Joshua Davis, who helped lead the march, said the problems go beyond any specific case. “I’m out here because I have nieces who are four, five, six years old and I want them to come up in a world where they don’t have to be afraid of the cops," he said. "There are many things cops can carry that don’t kill people. I’m out here not because I agree Mike Brown was innocent or guilty, or because the cop was guilty or innocent, but because black men are being killed daily.”The march ended at the Hamilton County Justice Center at about 8:30 p.m. Twelve were arrested during the march, according to police. Onlookers watch protesters march down Ezzard Charles Dr. Nov. 25Nick SwartsellA protester at a Nov. 25 rally remembering victims of police shootingsJesse Fox 
 
 

Rediscovering Lost Photos From a Long-Ago West End

0 Comments · Wednesday, October 22, 2014
Under the sponsorship of the Historical and Philosophical Society of Ohio (now the Cincinnati Historical Society), George S. Rosenthal took roughly 3,600 photographs of West End places  

American Grit

Cheryl Dunn documents the irony of life in the U.S.

1 Comment · Wednesday, March 11, 2009
The young blonde girl in the photograph looks perplexed. She's standing in front of a bus called "Willie's Wiener Wagon," which is plastered with signs that read, 'If You Don't Support Victory, You Don't Support Our Troops" and "Proud to be an American." Cheryl Dunn, who took the photograph during the Bush years, doesn't flinch from the gritty, difficult side of life, as suggested by the title of her current show, 'Spit & Peanut Shells: American Pictures,' at Country Club gallery.  

West End Gets Noticed for Talent

0 Comments · Tuesday, December 23, 2008
There are plenty of things missing from 'The Last Shot' — flashy graphics, slick Hollywood production and Academy Award-winning acting, to name a few — but the people involved in it are amateurs with big dreams. What's so amazing about this new movie about teenage life filmed in the West End is the story behind the story.   

West End Questions Mayor's Motives

0 Comments · Wednesday, August 6, 2008
West End residents are nothing if not tenacious, and now they're ready to fight one of their own, Cincinnati Mayor Mark Mallory.  

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