Today, April 7, 2011, marks the 10th anniversary of the shooting of Timothy Thomas by Stephen Roach, then a Cincinnati Police officer. Thomas was unarmed and fleeing from police when shot. This incident sparked the Riots which began on April 9th after a heated City Council Committee meeting.
Both the Cincinnati Enquirer and the Cincinnati Herald had multiple stories recently remembering what happened 10 years ago and looking forward to where we are now.
From the Enquirer:
Special Section Cincinnati Riots
Changes in policing
A different struggle
From the Herald:
City was in crisis during civil unrest of 2001
How far we’ve come since 2001
Looking back a decade—
I recall how vivid tension that filled the streets was back then. I remember walking Downtown during the day and I could sense the tension. It is a feeling that was likely all in my head since I was following the unfolding events very closely, but it was a feeling I can remember to this day. I don't know if it is because I live in Over-the-Rhine now or that we have changed, but that tension is gone. Many of those at the forefront of the protests have retreated from the public eye or just left town, so I don't know how much that has changed the feel of the city over the last 10 years.
I believe the City and its citizens have changed. That change has been positive. The police have a much improved attitude towards the public, particularly the black community. We have outlets for the citizens to voice their views. We still do have a significant separation between the communities, something we must still work on. Much of that separation is rooted in socio-economic differences, but much of it is culture. The cultures of our city still are very different and don't like to mix. We don't communicate outside of our own culture as often as we could or should. Since the animosity towards the city continues to fester in large sectors of the suburban and exurban areas, we can't afford to not have a wider community in the city working together. I hope we can improve the connections to that macro community for everyone.