Local community activists say Cincinnati was once Ferguson - Cincinnati News, FOX19-WXIX TV

Local community activists say Cincinnati was once Ferguson

Bishop Bobby Hilton says even a lack of training and a scathing report from the justice department doesn't excuse shooting police (Photo: FOX19 NOW/Gordon Graham) Bishop Bobby Hilton says even a lack of training and a scathing report from the justice department doesn't excuse shooting police (Photo: FOX19 NOW/Gordon Graham)
CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19) -

Cincinnati reflected on its own history of community relations with police after the shootings in Ferguson, MO Wednesday.

[Related: Officers shot outside Ferguson PD released from hospital]

Cincinnati prides itself on hard won gains in race relations, relations which exploded back in 2001. State Senator and former police officer, Cecil Thomas, says there's still work to do, but he's confident that what's happening in Ferguson won't happen here in Cincinnati. 

“We have made sure that we stay on top of our police officers and what they're doing and we also manage the heart beat of our citizens to find out exactly what are the citizens saying about our work,” Thomas said.

While Cincinnati police work hard at community engagement Thomas says the same can't be said for some smaller law enforcement agencies.

 “They do not have the resources to train their officers in de-escalation skills training and mental health crisis intervention training,” Thomas said.

Bishop Bobby Hilton says even a lack of training and a scathing report from the justice department doesn't excuse shooting police. 

“We can never, ever include violence when we protest. Let's exercise our first amendment right, let's protest, holler, scream, but let's make sure that violence, shooting of police officers or anybody is never included as we protest,” Hilton said.

Missouri State Senator Jamilah Nesheed who said by phone, despite the shootings of two police officers Ferguson is beginning to see change. 

“The resignation of the chief was a first good step towards healing Ferguson and the city of St. Louis. However, I think that in order to continue to build that confidence within the community the Ferguson police department needs to be dismantled,” Nesheed said.

Nasheed says she's not surprised with the findings in the Department Of Justice report because it reveals injustices she says have been well known for years.

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