Monday, April 16, 2001

Not everybody opposed curfew


Chores, talks fill down time

By David Eck and Amy Higgins
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        Banned from going out weekend evenings because of the city's curfew, residents made sure they had plenty of books, stocked up on rented movies and spent time with their families talking about the unrest that has gripped Cincinnati.

        Though the curfew didn't resume until 11 p.m. Sunday, some can't wait until it's lifted altogether.

        “I was tired of it the first night they started it,” said Telly Dickerson, a 25-year-old Winton Terrace resident. “I don't understand why they made it citywide when not everybody was rioting. I had a real curfew, like I was a teen-ager again.”

        On Saturday, she was at a friend's house in Northside helping prepare a large Easter dinner. The curfew cut her contribution short.

        “I cut her greens and had to rush home,” Ms. Dickerson said. “There was a party we wanted to go to (Saturday) night and we couldn't go. I hope it's done after (Sunday) night.”

        Rodney Wilson, 30, of Avondale said he spent more time with his wife and four children during the curfew. The family followed the news of the unrest.

        “It's always good to spend more quality time. We talked about what was going on,” Mr. Wilson said.

        He supported the curfew.

        “It was good for everyone,” he said. “They needed to do that.”

        Shannon Wilson, 29, of Northside said the curfew was a bit difficult on her pre-teen children, who didn't want to come in while it was still light outside.

        “All spring break they had to come in the house at 8 p.m.,” she said. “It's starting to feel good outside and kids don't want to be cooped up in the house. I think it was unnecessary because I think the Cincinnati police could have had it under control.”

        The curfew prevented Janet Yates from taking her evening walks to Mirror Lake in Eden Park from her Mount Auburn home. But she sees enough racial strife in Cincinnati that bringing attention to it made the restrictions worthwhile.

        “To me, yeah, it was,” Ms. Yates said. “I see the bigger picture.”

        So do Fred and Anita Finkelman, who missed going to synagogue Friday and might have eaten out over the weekend. Instead, they stayed in their Mount Lookout home and Mr. Finkelman did their taxes.

        “We didn't feel any of it was a hardship because we felt the curfew was appropriate,” Mrs. Finkelman said. “And the taxes got done.”

        Bert Powers, 73, of Mount Airy also was disappointed the curfew disrupted church services, but said the ban was necessary.

        For Darien Shackleford of Mount Airy the curfew meant money — about 20 hours of pay — being taken from his pocket. The IGA grocery store where he works has closed two hours earlier than usual during the curfew hours.

        “The whole store closes down,” he said. “I think people need to make a living.”

        A Mount Auburn man broke the curfew to go to Over-the-Rhine early Sunday to see the scene where Timothy Thomas was shot.

        “I left my house at five of” 6 a.m., said Ron Smith, 42.

        He wanted to see what has become of 6 a.m. in Over-the-Rhine — and left his home early in defiance, hoping to get pulled over. He denounced the week's violence but said he understood it.

        “Honestly,” he said, “if I saw a cop, you know, having a heart attack on the street, I just walk by.

        “And I know CPR.”

        Casey Smith, a teacher with the North College Hill City Schools, supported the curfew.

        “I just feel safer knowing that people are supposed to be in their houses at a certain time,” said Ms. Smith, a 29-year-old College Hill resident. “It didn't get in the way of anything.”

        And Ms. Smith found a upside: time to do projects that are easily avoided, such as cleaning out the basement, organizing closets and catching up on the laundry.

        Staff writer Tom O'Neill contributed.
       

       



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