Tuesday, November 27, 2001 Volume 67, Issue 66


 
 









 

Cincinnati police are not to blame

Michael Ahlf

In April, the city of Cincinnati was engulfed in racial riots. The catalyst was the death of a young black man after a police chase.

Two days after the shooting, the rhetoric of "Fifteen black men killed since 1995" caused peaceful protests to become all-out looting and rioting from
April 9 until the end of the month.

To this day, mention the incidents and the sound bite of "Fifteen black men" will be played. What isn't included in that statement is the history of the men
or what they did to cause police to shoot them. It's truly frightening to learn exactly for whom the Cincinnati rioters took their revenge. Here's a list:

Harvey Price murdered his girlfriend's 15-year-old daughter with an ax. Yep, that's right. He was a bona-fide ax murderer. He was shot when attacking
police with a knife.

Darryll Price jumped onto cars in traffic and screamed that he was going to shoot someone. He died under police restraint because of his own cocaine
use.

Daniel Williams flagged down Officer Kathleen Conway's cruiser, then shot her four times in an apparent car-jacking attempt. Conway survived by
shooting back.

Jermaine Lowe led police in a car chase, then emptied his handgun at them. He died in the shootout. He was a convicted felon wanted for breaking
parole and armed robbery.

Randy Black robbed a bank, then attacked a police officer with a two-by-four sporting rusty nails. He died after the officer fired in self-defense.

James King robbed a bank, fired off a shot in the bank to prove he meant business, drove through a construction site and was shot when he pointed his
gun at officers and wouldn't back down.

Carey Tompkins was killed while struggling with an officer over his handgun. The officer was at the scene in response to a 911 call about Tompkins'
disorderly conduct, in which he brought a gun to his girlfriend's home and verbally attacked her.

Alfred Pope had five felony convictions on his record already when he and a friend robbed and beat three people in an apartment building. He was
killed when, after a chase, he pointed his handgun at officers and they fired in self-defense.

Twelve-year-old Courtney Mathis swiped a relative's car and went for a joyride. When Officer Kevin Crayon stopped him, the boy threw the car into
reverse and dragged Crayon 800 feet. Crayon discharged his gun, but died when his head hit another car.

Jeffrey Irons was chased down by police after he stole from a supermarket. He stole an officer's gun, shot Officer Tim Pappas and was killed when
Officer Frederick Gilmer opened fire in response.

Adam Wheeler slammed his apartment door in the face of an officer investigating a drug complaint, then fired six bullets through the door. His shots
wounded Officer Craig Gregoire. The return fire killed Wheeler.

At the time of his death, Wheeler had managed to accumulate three felony warrants since his release from prison for a drug conviction.

The other four dead black men were not nearly as bad, but not one was truly blameless in the incidents.

It would be one thing if the police in Cincinnati were needlessly targeting blacks, but they're not now and they weren't then. The 11 people just
mentioned deserve no revenge, and certainly not a racial riot.

But that's what happened. Maybe in the future, this little bit of knowledge could prevent another riot.

Ahlf, a senior electrical engineering 
major, can be reached at mahlf@mail.uh.edu.


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