Thursday, March 15, 2001
Twenty-eight people submitted statements about their experiences with Cincinnati police in the lawsuit filed Wednesday. Among those already part of the suit or soon to be:
Charnell Warner says she asked only one favor of the police officers who stopped her car in January.
Please, she recalls saying, don't handcuff me in front of my children.
Minutes later, Ms. Warner says, she and her husband were in handcuffs standing next to their car while their two children, ages 2 and 8, cried in the back seat.
The Madisonville woman was five months pregnant. She and her family were on their way to her aunt's house in Fairmount when the police pulled her over.
She says the police ordered them from the car at gunpoint and put them in handcuffs. They told her they were looking for two male suspects who were driving the same kind of car.
They should've known it was a mistake, she says. I was five months pregnant, and I was showing.
She says the officers eventually admitted the mistake and let them go. Ms. Warner says her daughter still talks about the incident. I don't like police any more, the girl recently told her mom.
I'm going to talk to her so she knows all police are not bad, Ms. Warner says.
Terry Horton and Vinnie Clark
Terry Horton knew it wasn't a routine traffic stop as soon as he saw a half dozen police officers pointing guns at his car.
He had just left Club Platinum in Cincinnati with his friend, former NFL player Vinnie Clark, earlier this year when an officer pulled them over.
When Mr. Clark reached for his hazard lights, the officers shouted: He's reaching for something!
I heard those guns click, Mr. Horton says. I knew I hadn't done anything, but I was scared.
The police said they were looking for a suspect named Charles B. Mr. Horton says he and Mr. Clark provided identification, and he says the officers confirmed the car was registered to Mr. Clark.
Even so, he says, the officers detained them for at least 30 minutes while they searched the car.
Mr. Horton says the officers described Charles B. as a 6-foot tall, 190-pound black male. Both he and Mr. Clark are over 225 pounds, and he says neither resembled the suspect.
He says the only thing they had in common with the suspect was the color of their skin.
Shirelyn Beauman, a 26-year-old African-American University of Cincinnati medical student, and seven friends were in front of a Clifton house Sept. 26, 1999.
They were talking and not being boisterous, according to her signed declaration.
Across the street, in the 2300 block of Rohs, there was a large college gathering where white partiers were screaming, fighting and drinking, Ms. Beauman said.
White Cincinnati police officers arrived at the college party and told them to disband, she said. No one there was arrested.
Then the officers came across the street and accused one of Ms. Beauman's friends of pointing a light at him.
He was rude, skeptical, accusatory and angry, she said. I started writing down officer names, badge numbers and license plates. My pad was snatched from my hands and I was handcuffed and arrested for taking notes and questioning them.
She said she was detained for at least three hours and charged with disorderly conduct. She was acquitted Nov. 17, 1999, according to court records.
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