Friday, September 28, 2001

Police back judge's ruling

By Susan Vela
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        While preparing for a second night of a citywide curfew, several Cincinnati police officers said they supported the verdict that caused protests in Over-the-Rhine.

Complete coverage in our special section.
        In interviews Thursday, several said they trust Hamilton County Municipal Judge Ralph E. Winkler's decision to acquit Officer Stephen Roach. He was acquitted of two misdemeanor charges stemming from the April shooting death of Timothy Thomas, an unarmed African-American man who was running from police.

        The stress of sometimes having to make split-second decisions was mentioned often by police officers.

        “You have to be confident in the judicial system because there's no other system out there,” Lt. Col. Ron Twitty said. I knew (the verdict) was going to be controversial. (But) the key is to have time as your ally. If you don't have time, you're reactionary.”

        Sgt. Jeff Gramke agreed.

        “The courts know due process,” he said. “As far as Officer Roach goes, it's nice that he can move on with his career. You can second guess and Monday quarterback. (But) I know in his heart he hoped it never occurred. With his job, it did occur. We have to move on.

        “We're thrown into these situations not by our choice but by the other person's choice. Sometimes, those situations are violent and we have to deal with them.”

        Cincinnati Police Sgt. Rodney Carter, an African-American, never thought the shooting was racially motivated. Some African-Americans have disagreed.

        But, “when you're in the heat of a moment, things happen,” Sgt. Carter said. “That's what happened here.”

        Investigator Jeff Dunaway said the lesson of the past months could be that police need improved training.

        But, “it is impossible to find any training similar to what (Officer Roach) went through that night. There's nothing you can do that's going to come close to that stress,” he said.

        Police Chief Tom Streicher said the judge's decision “really provides the majority of the resolution for us. The way (Judge Winkler) articulated the propriety of the shooting — that clearly has been resolved by the judge.”


City spends second night under curfew
Lynch says he may leave CAN
Unrest gives Luken a second chance
Unrest, terror put citizens on edge
Verdict to violence, hour by hour
Always supportive, Roach's hometown welcomes verdict
Curfew closings costly for businesses
- Police back judge's ruling
Tourism promoters struggling
Area Salvation Army workers head to New York
RADEL: Mass stupidity
Sikhs raise money for victims
Cincy St. offers aid to science teachers
English Woods center opens as teen hangout
Norwood Republican wins right to be on Nov. 6 ballot
Scholarship fund honors flood victim
Senator wants school closed
The Banks on financial rocks
Tristate A.M. Report
Cemetery rule revisited
Indians try to get back on track
Lakota schools accept acreage
Man gets house arrest, probation for injuring son
Teacher gets two years in prison
Trial could be delayed
Ohio counts new ways to raise money
Price squeeze forces state to limit flu shots
State might drop processing fee
Tuition hikes haven't hindered enrollment
Bridge could open over weekend
Father escorts son home
Foreign doctors suddenly suspects
Frugal donor leaves WKU $3.5M
Kenton units get computers
Kentucky News Briefs