Owensby's Mother Pleads for Peace - Cincinnati News, Weather, Sports from FOX19 NOW-WXIX

April 10, 2001

Owensby's Mother Pleads for Peace

"It has to stop. I pray every night it has to stop. A policeman's gonna get killed, it has to stop."

The mother of Roger Owensby Junior, the 29-year old Roselawn man who died in police custody pleaded for an end to the violence that has taken over the city since Saturday night's fatal shooting of Timothy Thomas.

"This city is tired," she continued. "They're tired of seeing police officers killed and their citizens killed."

But no one knows quite how to tackle the problem...

"We have left the youth and the police on the streets," said former councilmember Charlie Winburn. "The rest of us are not on the streets, our pastors are not on the streets. Our church is not on the streets. Our recreation department is not on the streets."

"I heard it [Monday]. I walked with the crowd. There is not one person in here that can handle those young people," claimed Ken Lawson, the attorney representing Thomas' mother, Angela Leisure. "Y'all have put the barrels out there and filled them with gunpowder and now that fuse has been lit."

Community leaders say over the last 40 years, there has been countless roundtables and rhetoric. Now, many want meetings that actually work to close the gap between the groups. Some have even suggested putting only African American officers in black communities, creating harsher disciplinary measures for police, and offering more jobs and activities for teenagers.

Either way, we need to find a way to resolve the past in order to salvage the future.

"We do not have an East-West debate. We do not have a black-white debate," claimed John Schlagetter, a candidate for City Council. "We have a North-South debate in the worst historical context."

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