Thursday, April 12, 2001

Parker: Problems have better solutions

By John Fay
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        Dave Parker chose to live in Cincinnati after his All-Star baseball career was over.

        “It's a great place to raise a family,” he said. “I could have lived in Pittsburgh or Oakland.”

        So what he saw Tuesday on the television news shocked him.

        “It's not right to jump on innocent people,” he said. “There are problems that need to be addressed, but this isn't the way. I feel badly for the mother of the kid who was killed (by a police officer). But it's totally unfair to attack businesses.”

        Parker is particularly sympathetic because he owns Popeye's Fried Chicken in Roselawn.

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        Parker grew up in the West End and attended Courter Tech High School. He went on to star with the Pittsburgh Pirates, the Reds and the Oakland A's.

        No one has asked him to help diffuse the racial tension that led to the rioting, but he's willing.

        “Without a doubt,” he said. “I love the city and I don't like the way it's being reflected nationally. It's much better here than is being reflected.”

        That is not to say it's perfect here, he added

        “There's a problem with young, black males getting shot by police,” he said. “That has to be nipped in the bud. But black leaders need to work through the ranks. Looting neighborhoods doesn't make sense.”


Violence worsens, spreads
Grand jury will probe shooting
NAACP's Mfume, city leaders meet today
Citizens terrorized by violence
Some business owners, residents felt targeted
Luken offers support to damaged areas
Ministers rally, then walk the streets
Panel's view: What should the city do next?
PULFER: Refusing to give up on the city
Residents try to comprehend destruction
Violence a sign of unsolved problems
Arrests mostly of young males
Bengal Basnight wants to help stop violence
Reds urge end to violence
- Parker: Problems have better solutions
Image worries downtown merchants
School activities address unrest