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Curfew Ends in Cincinnati

September 28, 2001

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CINCINNATI (AP) _ After a night of relative calm, the mayor ended a two-night citywide curfew Friday morning and urged residents to ``Go out and go to dinner. ... Go have fun.″

Mayor Charlie Luken imposed the curfew Wednesday to help keep peace after a judge cleared a white police officer who fatally shot an unarmed black man.

There were at least eight reports of gunfire and several car and trash bin fires were set Thursday and Friday, but no injuries were reported. Police charged 35 adults and three juveniles with violating the 11 p.m. to 6 a.m. curfew.

``We believe the situation is controlled and citizens are respecting the law,″ Luken said.

Luken, aware that the curfew was hurting downtown businesses, apologized for any inconvenience and urged residents to enjoy the weekend.

``Go out and go to dinner, watch a movie, go to a play,″ he said in an interview on WLW radio. ``Go have fun.″

The unrest happened in Over-the-Rhine, the same neighborhood which saw three days of riots when policeman Stephen Roach shot Timothy Thomas on April 7. The 19-year-old Thomas, who had tried to flee, was wanted on 14 misdemeanor warrants, including driving without a license and previously fleeing police.

A judge Wednesday acquitted Roach, 27, of misdemeanor charges of negligent homicide and obstructing official business.

Police spokesman Lt. Kurt Byrd said the disturbances Wednesday and Thursday were minor compared with those in April and may not even have been related to the verdict.

Roach, a city officer since 1997, had faced up to nine months in jail if convicted of both charges. He still faces departmental administrative proceedings under which he could face penalties including dismissal, police said.

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