Grand juries are, and always have been, prosecutors' tools. That's why Hamilton County Prosecutor Michael Allen managed to indict 63 people for rioting before ever presenting the grand jury the case against Officer Stephen Roach, whose fatal shooting of an unarmed black man led to the riots in the first place.
Meanwhile, complaints about police violence against peaceful protesters continue to mount. This week, attorney Robert Newman added 22 more plaintiffs to a lawsuit accusing officers of attacking nonviolent protesters and bystanders with "beanbag" missiles, rubber bullets, billy clubs and tear gas.
"The county prosecutor's speedy indictment of alleged lawbreakers is to be commended," Newman says. "We await equal justice with respect to the investigation and prosecution of police misconduct."
Who made the stupidest remarks during the riots? It's a dead heat between Jeff Ruby, who announced on WLW-AM he would keep his downtown steak house open lest anyone accuse him of prejudice, and a public service announcement by Norton Outdoor Advertising, aired on WMOJ-FM: "Stay calm, be cool and follow the directions of our city fathers." Who, pray tell, might they be?
Did you see attorney Eric Kearney on Hot Seat, rating Mayor Charlie Luken a D, largely for leaving the April 9 Law and Public Safety Committee meeting early?
Yeah, that meeting, when TV Charlie might have prevented the riots and didn't (see "Slinking Away," issue of April 12-18). Kearney's assessment makes you wonder: If liberals and African Americans dumped Luken, gosh, he would, what, lose this fall's election for "strong mayor?"
In all of Cincinnati, is there no one to run against this man?
Salim McCarron took a rubber bullet for your freedom in Quebec. McCarron, a San Francisco videographer who documented protests in Cincinnati last year against the TransAtlantic Business Dialogue (see "The 12-Second Warning," issue of Nov. 22-29), is with the Independent Media Campaign. While documenting protests against the proposed Free Trade Area of the Americas, McCarron sustained a head wound after being shot with nonlethal ammunition. He tells CityBeat he's recovered — and still opposes the globalization of corporate power.
Are you imagining the unrest in Cincinnati has ended? Nah, the activists have been regrouping. Consider this: Sitwell's Coffeehouse hosted a benefit May 1 for people arrested in what lefties are calling "the rebellion." Sure, the language is a bit much, but they do seem to be organizing the kind of networks and support structure necessary if they're in this for the long haul.
Xavier University will not terminate its contract for cafeteria services with Sodexho-Marriott this year. XU President Rev. Michael Graham, S.J., let pass an April 30 deadline from the Not With Our Money campaign. Student activists want XU to drop Sodexho-Marriott for opposing union-organizing efforts and for the company's involvement in the private-prison industry. Graham has not ruled out changing vendors when when the Sodexho-Marriott contract expires next year. Brian Loewe, spokesman for the campaign, says students will continue to press the Jesuit priest to practice what the religious order preaches.
The University of Cincinnati is in Clifton. Anytime someone says that in print, UC spokesman Greg Hand retaliates with a five-page fax saying the opposite. Only problem is, nowhere in those five pages does Hand say which neighborhood UC is in. But it's not Clifton. So stop saying it is. Right now.
Nothing good can come from naughty pictures, you say? How about this? Jennifer Lee, general manager of Hustler Cincinnati, heard about someone whose infant had died. Lee donated an item to an auction benefiting the family. She thought her donation would fetch $100, a generous contribution to a family in need, but it went for $3,500 instead. The treasure was the 1975 Hustler magazine containing the pictures of Jackie Onassis.
Try this for two minutes. Change Your Mind Day is June 2, when Buddhists want you to spend the first two minutes of every hour you are awake praying, chanting, bowing or somehow practicing your own spirituality. From 12:30 to 5 p.m., monks from various Buddhist traditions will meditate and talk in Eden Park.
Police Chief Thomas Streicher might find this suggestion useful if he's still on the job then (see Burning Questions, page 17).
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