Friday, May 11, 2001

Protest leader's father receives threats

By Richelle Thompson
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        The Rev. Damon Lynch Jr. is installing surveillance cameras around his North Avondale home and asking police to make additional patrols in response to threatening phone calls.

        A call recorded Thursday on his answering machine warned, “For your own good, you better get the hell out of here before it's too late.”

        Another said, “Not all of us are scared. What goes around comes around.”

        The Rev. Mr. Lynch suspects the calls are meant for his son, the Rev. Damon Lynch III, who has led protests decrying city police procedures. The phone threats started after the April riots, said the Rev. Mr. Lynch Jr., and average two a day.

        The calls are unnerving, he said. “They have intimated they wish I were dead,” he said. “You can't ever tell where the kooks live. People will do some terrible things, both black and white.”

        Despite the calls, he said he won't back down on asking city government for changes in its policies. And he won't ask his son to stop leading protests.

        “There's no need to stop,” he said. “The city has to come to grips with the fact we must do something.”

        The Rev. Mr. Lynch III could not be reached for comment.


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