Saturday, July 22, 2000

Video proves harassment taking place


Victim's family still being threatened a year later

By Jeff Carlton
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        NEWPORT — Family members of Petey Greene, the Newport High basketball player killed a year ago Friday, have complained that friends of the killer have harassed them at their home for months, shouting racial slurs and threatening them with violence. Now they have a videotape to prove it.

        A video camera recorded an incident on May 27 in which several friends of Michael McIntosh, now serving a life sentence for Petey's murder, threaten Mario White, Petey's cousin, with racial slurs, glass bottles and a shovel.

        Shouts of “white power” and racial slurs threatening African-Americans' lives can be heard on the tape. Petey and Mr. White are black. Mr. McIntosh is white.

        Mr. White, 18, was hit in the back by a bottle during the May 27 incident but was otherwise uninjured, he said. He identified one of the attackers as the youth who started the argument that culminated in Petey's death last year.

        That person could not be reached for comment.

        Vanessa Greene, Petey's mother, and Dan Grob, who has lived with Mrs. Greene for about six years, said the harassment has occurred on and off since before the murder trial began in April.

        The most recent incident occurred Thursday night at Mrs. Greene and Mr. Grob's Isabella Street house. The occupants of a passing car shouted a racial slur and

        “You've had it,” Mr. Grob said.

        On Friday, the Greenes marked the one-year anniversary of Petey's death with a cookout and a candlelight vigil. About 100 friends and family attended, most wearing T-shirts with pictures of Petey on the front. The back read “Missing You Always.” A different commemorative T-shirt displayed the words “The Peacemaker.” Petey was shot while trying to break up a fight.

        After the cookout, characterized by Mr. Grob as “a celebration of Petey's life,” the family went to Linden Grove Cemetery in Covington for the candlelight vigil.

        The Newport Police Department maintained a steady presence throughout the evening, sending cruisers by the house several times each hour. The officers were there to prevent any problems, police said.

        No charges have been filed in any of the incidents, including the fight captured on videotape. Mrs. Greene gave the tape to Jack Porter, the assistant commonwealth attorney of Campbell County who prosecuted Petey's killer. These types of harassment cases are difficult to pursue legally because of the lack of evidence left by people driving by and making threats, Mr. Porter said. Unless police witness the incidents, it is one person's word against another's, he said.

        In addition, the attackers cannot be identified because of the video's poor picture quality. Mr. Porter said he hopes another incident, this time with the attackers' faces visible, will be captured on tape.

        “I don't think this should be ignored,” he said. “Videotape is a great invention for law enforcement.”

       



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