Tuesday, December 2, 2003

National TV focuses on beating death

By Gregory Korte
The Cincinnati Enquirer

Click to view an Acrobat PDF file (168k) showing a detailed timeline of the police encounter with Nathaniel Jones.
(Randy Mazzola infographic)
By Monday, the videotape of six officers engaged in a violent struggle Sunday with a 350-pound man in North Avondale was airing on every national cable network.

The BBC and the French newspaper Le Monde were calling, and all of them wanted to know what effect the incident would have on a city torn apart by four days of rioting following the 2001 police shooting of Timothy D. Thomas in Over-the-Rhine

"This will get more scrutiny because it happened here," said Mayor Charlie Luken, a former television news anchor.

Luken said he was frustrated that the national media were playing the same segments of the police cruiser tape over and over, with little context. "The first thing I see is a police officer violently attacked," he told any reporter who would listen.

Luken delegated most national television appearances to Cecil Thomas, the head of the Cincinnati Human Relations Commission and a former police detective.

But the mayor did make an appearance on his favorite cable news show, News Night with Aaron Brown.

Thomas and Police Chief Thomas H. Streicher Jr. were scheduled to appear on NBC's Today show this morning.


E-mail gkorte@enquirer.com

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