Karla Davis has lived in Over-the-Rhine, off and on, for most of her 40-some years. She was living there a year ago. She was still there during last summer’s violence.
One night last summer ‘‘about 2:30, 3 in the morning, I heard a pop, pop, pop outside my apartment. I thought it was firecrackers, but then a bullet hit my window. I was on the floor, praying. It was very disturbing.’’ She had been caught in the middle of a shootout between a drive-by shooter and the police, though no bystanders were hurt.
She moved in August to a quieter street in the West End.
At the Alabama Fish Bar at Race and Liberty, her customers crowd into the small space by the counter and wait for their dinners of perch, whiting or cod hot from the fryer. Every few minutes the door opens and someone else comes in: folks from the neighborhood, workers from downtown, policemen.
When she talks about the people who caused the riots, she often says maybe they were ‘‘caught up in the system.’’ Maybe they’ve been to prison or been laidoff. Maybe they need some help.
‘‘They need a second or third chance. You’d be surprised what people can do when they’re given a chance.’’
She looks at vacant houses in the neighborhood and thinks that the city could turn them from eyesores into rehab or retraining centers. People in a position of power need to see folks in Over-the-Rhine as people deserving of respect, she says. And people in power would have to invest some money.
‘‘I know it would take money to bring about change here. When they wanted to build the stadium, or help those businesses downtown, there was money right away. But we don’t see it down here.’’
— Polly Campbell
Faces of Over-the-Rhine
Restaurant owner Paul Sebring
Taft senior Darrel Shields
Social worker Angela Coleman
Sarah Center director Sister Jeanette Buehler
Jordanian grocer Taraq T.A. Adwani
Filmmaker Steve Gebhardt
Gallery owner Suzanna Terril
Beauty shop supplier Chong Kim
Teacher's aide Kemberley Alexander
Waitress Karla Davis
Teacher Sharon Brooks
Dock worker Leo Sneed
Police officer Michael Ammann
Soup kitchen manager Denise McPherson
Artist Joseph M. Winterhalter
Janitor Latrell Walker
Fund-raiser Torren "T.J." Partridge
School social worker Joe Wilmers
Rehabber Greg Badger
Medical student John Eckman
Treatment counselor Calvin W. Wooten
Photographer Jimmy Heath
Violence up, arrests down
Changes made since April 2001
Q&A with Police Chief Streicher
Q&A with former F.O.P. president Keith Fangman
Neighbor to Neighbor
Community meetings produce results
Going beyond polite silence
What your neighbors said
What do you think?
What's happening in 145 communities
A sampling of communities:
What institutions are doing
Neighbor to Neighbor home page
Matters of Race: Bridging the divide in Greater Cincinnati
On the Same Page Cincinnati
Live Without Hate
Cincinnati 2001: Year of unrest
Unrest in the city: Archive of riot coverage
Unrest photo timeline
Jim Borgman on race