Cincinnati Police, keep up the good work. It is only the "squeaky wheel" African-Americans that are turning this city into the urinal of the state of Ohio. How many times in the past few years have we heard the same outcry over a person of color losing his life during the commission of a crime? The black community has loses all credibility when it supports these lawbreakers. If we could substitute a 342-pound white man on that video there would be little to no protests from the white community. Why? Because we are intelligent enough as a community to understand the repercussions of right and wrong. But that does not matter to the clowns on City Council who will not let anything go to trial.
And, as for the idiot Fire Chief stating that the Fire Department is partly to blame, how absurd. The only way they would be to blame is to let an EMT, that is not certified by the state, work on the man. The Fire Chief has one of his cronies that has not been certified as an EMT for over five years. Men and women of the CPD, carry on proudly. The majority of the community supports you.
Chris Henke, Delhi
I am behind the police department 100%. I feel sorry for the officers going through all of this hell just for doing their jobs. I am also sorry for the family's loss of a loved one. No doubt this man had family and friends who loved him, and they will miss him terribly.
However, he brought all of this on himself. He over-indulged in bad vices. He obviously ate himself into morbid obesity, smoked, probably drank, did horrible life-threatening drugs, all of which wrecked his heart and health. The two pictures you see of him on TV or in print are of him gambling, and in his arrest photo. He may have been a fun guy, but the choices he made led directly to his death. The people eating at and working at White Castle had a right to do so in peace. The people in that neighborhood had a right to peaceful sleep in their homes at 5:45 Sunday morning. None of them wanted to be bothered by an overdosed, out of control person of any color, gender or size.
The firemen and police officers came there to help him. He responded by shouting racial slurs and insults at them. He attacked the cops. Would he have done that if he was straight? Probaly not. Was his mind influenced by the drugs he took? Yep. Should they have just let him go? Who was he going to attack next? He acted the way he did because he was too high, and knew that if he let them help him, he was probably going to go back to jail. Surely that would have been better than death. All of these choices and events are on him. And the result is tragic. The outsiders coming here to raise hell are only out to make themselves rich and famous off of other peoples tragedies. Same goes for the local hell-raisers. And I don't get the people that don't get it. How can any one be that, excuse me, dumb? I am so tired of all of this bull. I am so tired of the gangs, the nightly shootings, the drug trade, the boycott. Why do we all have to hate so much? Can we all just grow up and do the right thing? Please!
Diana Jackson, Westwood
I have never been more disgusted than when I watched Ken Lawson grandstanding on television with a family in mourning over the death of a loved one.
The sad truth is that a man is dead because of his own foolish choices and inability to abide by the laws of our great city. To the family of Nathaniel Jones, I am sorry for your loss. To the police officers involved, I am sorry for the scrutiny you must endure for doing a sometimes thankless job, and many times a very dangerous one. To Ken Lawson, I am sorry you are a part of anything that supposedly deals with representing anyone in need. You are a disgrace to the city of Cincinnati. I hope if any good comes from this unfortunate situation, it will be for people to see through attorneys like yourself, whose real agenda is only to feed off a situation like this for your own monetary gain. Remember, Ken, look at the facts. Don't try to use subjective thoughts such as race issues, or a minute of video that doesn't exist. Act like your not in it for a big payoff, and realize the detriment you cause to all citizens of our city by trying to again make it a racial issue. Maybe if you really want to help, Ken, you could patrol some of the neighborhoods where these situations tend to take place, sound like a good idea? It does to me.
Mike Ventre, Cincinnati
This is to the community: We, the people of Cincinnati are trying to raise families with some type of a moral value system. How can we even have the nerve to think of offering a national day to remember the young man who died after a scuffle with the Cincinnati police?
We have men and women who give their lives for our country. We have people shot and killed in drive-by shootings. Where is the honor for these people?
Why should the drug dependent people in our city, those who think the laws and guidelines are for others, get any type of special recognition? Why?
Charlie Green, Anderson Township
When will parents quit making excuses for their children and teach them to respect authority? Just maybe the number of black males who die while being arrested would decrease. Think about it.
Jeff Merkle, Pleasant Run
Cincinnati Police, I support you and trust your judgement NO MATTER WHAT. Chief Streicher, do not back down and stay where you are.
I am originally from Cincinnati. I married a black man and choose to live elsewhere because it is too much for Cincinnati blacks to handle. We got more nasty comments thrown at us from the Black community when we lived there than any other group.
When is the black community going to realize that no one cares whether a suspect/criminal/public nuisance is black or white? And when a police officer asks you to cooperate, you do so. It is that easy.
A 350-pound man on cocaine and PCP who is dancing in White Castle in the early morning is not a good role model for his children so skip the "good" father description, it won't work.
Sure, there is sadness that someone died and I feel sorry for the family. But I would feel the same way about this whole thing if it was a white man who died in custody. This is ridiculous and I am tired of being embarrassed by my town.
Stand tall, police!
Melanie Robertson, Burlington, Ky.
To the police and Jones family: This is sick, sick, sick, sick, sick! Fire those officers!
Nundi Abada, Pittsburgh
The chief and the FOP may say it was by the book. Yet any blind man can see they need to take a second look. We seem to have an incredible knack for black men dying while being subdued, and I find it odd we don't have the same for those of a different hue. Now Webster and Fangman seem to, in the fashion of Tom and Huck, want to have us "whitewash" the fence by passing off the buck.
Let's be clear, ladies, we are not talking about men who have met their demise, while firing upon officers or armed and up to no good, Carpenter, Thomas, Owensby, and now Jones, had they been white and in westwood we would not be casting stones. Admit there is a disparity in the way black males are done. For sure we admit we will be slow to call you for fear of losing a loved one.
Timothy LaCour, Evanston
I realize the emotion of this issue, but the police did nothing wrong in this situation. In fact, I'm surprised they were as restrained as they were. Iam a senior level honors student with a Criminal Justice major and we analyzed this video Tuesday in class. All blows were directed towards pressure points, which should have caused Mr. Jones to be easily restrained, while causing no permanent damage.
The fact that Mr. Jones was practically unaffected by these blows led the class, including our professor, a retired police chief with a Ph.D. in criminal justice management, to the conclusion that Mr. Jones must have had extremely high levels of some sort of stimulant in his system. The autopsy results confirmed our suspicions.
Instead of rioting and protesting, Cincinnati's community leaders would do well to teach your young men that if an officer is trying to affect an arrest, it is wise to comply. If you fight with them it is likely to result in your injury or possibly even death. If they tell you to keep your hands where they can see them, do so. Do not reach for anything or point anything at them. Pointing a stick, drill or other object at the officer, or reaching into your coat or back pocket will lead a reasonable officer to believe his own life may be at risk, and he will shoot you to protect himself. Put your hands in the air and stop where you are, be polite to the nice officer, don't hit or curse him/her and you are highly unlikely to be hurt in any way.
Brad Jones, Fort Wayne, Ind.
From what I have seen, I believe that Mr. Jones acted in a manner that ultimately led to his death. As a nurse, I have worked with people on PCP and other drugs and know how very difficult--if not impossible--it is to subdue them without causing some harm to them and to those trying to bring them down. He definitely played a role in his own death and that will be a very hard pill for his loved ones to swallow.
I am very sorry for his family. Their loss is tragic no matter the situation. His death is tragic and probably the only people I find fault with is the media who use this as an opportunity for comic relief--such as WLW's promos about a fat man; the black so-called leaders--and especially the great ambulance chaser of criminal law, Ken Lawson. Using this as an opportunity to further their own causes, whatever they may be, is disgraceful.
I think someone needs to point out that the apparent fact that Mr. Jones was a gentle man, a kind man, a good father and son is NOT relevant to this incident. In this one moment his demeanor was driven by drugs and his demeanor was violent and out of control. The officers acted in a manner that was necessitated by Mr. Jones' own behavior and there really should be no more made of this situation than that.
If this city dare pay his family one cent I will myself join the boycott! Enough is enough! We are going to become like Iraq where the young are trained to strap bombs to their backs with the promise of great sums of money to the family! His family deserves our condolences; they deserve to have their son's death not made into a circus event and they deserve dignity--but they do not deserve a payoff.
Karen Pinsky, Mason
Mr. Jones made several choices the night of his death that squarely put the responsibility on his shoulders. First of all, he made the choice to take the drugs which caused his erratic behavior, made him pass out, and made him violent. Secondly, he attacked the police officers.
Mr. Jones would still be with us if he did not make these two decisions. So what ever happened to personal responsibility in Cincinnati?
I am certain the officers who were involved in this tragic incident did not go to work with the intention of this happening. Being a police officer and dealing with them is becoming more and more dangerous for the general public because of the actions of Mr. Jones and other individuals in Cincinnati.
I watched all of the available videos and did not feel that the officers overreacted or were overly violent with Mr. Jones. In fact, I feel that the police restrained themselves in light of what was happening. The video does not lie.
Certain individuals in this community need to learn that when an officer asks you to do something (stay back or put your hands behind your back as the Police were shown asking on the video to Mr. Jones before he attacked them), you simply comply. Of course no one likes to be in trouble or having to deal with the Police, but failure to follow this simple rule could lead to some unpleasant consequences.
Mr. Jones was responsible for his actions that lead to his death. This is not a black, white, orange, green or blue issue. It is simply an issue that Mr. Jones was irresponsible and made the wrong choices and paid the ultimate price. Now his family, the NAACP, his lawyer, and many others want to make it a color issue.
Bob Kroger, Anderson Township
My condolences to the family.
For the police: I think you did your job. However, we need to better educate the public nuisances that respect for the police department is the key to keeping arrests civil.
I don't blame the police, I blame the folks that resist arrest--are they out of their minds?
For the black community: Work with the police. Resisting arrest is probably the number one reason for these types of issues. Be a positive force for the black community--communicate respect for the police and the work they do. We need the police and the more we cooperate, the better off everyone is.
Suzy Smith, Northside
First, it is unfortunate that Nathaniel Jones died in this incident, but what outcome do people expect from a violent outburst with police officers who are only trying to protect themselves and the lives of others? I think it is sad that police officers, especially police officers in Cincinnati, have to go out into our city and try to protect and serve when every time an African-American is killed or injured in the process they all of the sudden are in trouble for racial profiling.
The fact of the matter is that only 43% of Cincinnati's population is African-American, and over the last five years or so every attack made on Cincinnati police officers, 90% of the time it was an African-American. What does that tell you? All these people protesting this whole thing need to focus on the bigger picture here. What's with all of the hostility? The police officers did nothing to provoke this man. In fact he was provoking police officers. The family of Nathaniel Jones has made outrageous comments about the police, but have they even wondered why he was out in the middle of the night roaming around high as a kite on really dangerous drugs? I am beginning to think that they see absolutely nothing wrong with this. They will be happy though when they get their money from the city...which all of us who work in the city will pay for with our tax dollars. The whole thing is absurd...what if Nathaniel Jones was white, what would have happened...NOTHING! That's sad.
Q. Bender, Western Hills
Is Willie Cunningham really the correct person we in Cincinnati want to comment (so soon after this tragedy, with so little REAL information)? I don't live my life via video tape and reality shows. Hannity and Combs presents this idiot juxtaposed with an apparently sensible (but out-of-town) black lawyer presenting opinions in a rather calm demeanor--purely to create "sparks." We here know Willie's shtick; the nation however and, I fear, some local folks, think he is the prototype Cincinnati white male. This is truly as sad as it is wrong.
Just as foretold in the movie "Network" 30 years ago, news and entertainmaint, and now reality itself, are one maddening mixture of nonsense. I hate to admit it but I feel like saying, "I am mad as hell and I'm not going to take it any more!"
Jim Brady, Pleasant Ridge
I belive these officers were fighting for there own live against this very large man. In fights like this, two or three seconds can feel like 30 minutes. I believe these officers should not be judged until all the evidence is in place.
Ed Leen, Dayton, Ohio
It's a shame when anyone dies. God bless the family and friends of Mr. Jones who miss him. It is also a shame that the six police officers have to go through such hell for doing their job. God bless them as well.
Defenders of Mr. Jones keep saying that he did nothing wrong before being confronted by police and attacking them. They contend that he was merely a guy on drugs dancing in a parking lot, not threatening anyone.
However, the White Castle security video clearly shows Mr. Jones driving his car into the White Castle lot. Driving a car while high on cocaine and PCP is a threat to all in the community. It is truly a blessing that he didn't kill anyone while driving to the White Castle.
If police let him go, they would have let him take a deadly weapon onto the streets of North Avondale while under the influence.
No one can defend driving under the influence. Period!
Tim O'Mackelly, Mt. Washington
Why does the Cincinnati Police chief have to provoke people?
I mean, doesn't the man needs to know when to shut up? The Cincinnati City Council needs to fire that terrible, racist police chief. With a terrible, stupid police chief like that it's no wonder race relations and crime have gotten worse since 2001.
Brian Olaffssen, Over-the-Rhine
To the Cincinnati Police Department: Thank you for DOING YOUR JOB! There are those who feel they should not take responsibility for their own actions. Jones took his life into his own hands when he took drugs, led an unhealthy life and attacked police officers. This "gentle giant" was no teddy bear. This was a drug-addicted felon when he hit a police officer. You did NOTHING WRONG. Thank you again and keep up the good work!
Corey Pratt, Cincinnati
I know that the Cincinnati Police did their job when it came to the death of Mr. Jones.
How many times did they tell Mr. Jones to put his hands behind his back? Too many. I am just glad that Mr. Jones did not have a gun, for hard telling how many deaths there would have been since he was on drugs. Of course, a lot of people are saying police brutality, but put yourself in their shoes.
I do believe that the police handled it the best way that they could. Good going, Cincinnati Police, for protecting innocent bystanders who might have been harmed if they had not taken action.
Bonnie Luken, Tomball, Texas
Although the video can be perceived as solid evidence of the brutality of either Nathaniel Jones or the Cincinnati Police, it also indicates much about the priorities of this city.
Tasers are not provided for the officers and authorities who protect us on a daily basis, and that lack is justified because tasers are expensive.
The city of Cincinnati agreed to provide city and state assistance to both the Convergys ($52.2 million over 15 years) and Kroger ($12 million) corporations earlier this year. These subsidies exist to keep business in the region, with the intent of maintaining the livelihoods of those working for the corporations, and developing livelihoods for those who will work for them in the future.
Why is it, then, that the same city that is willing to spend millions of dollars to protect the livelihoods of its citizens, cites cost as an issue when denying tasers to the police, protecting both the authorities as well as citizens? Is not the cost of one life more than necessary for the city to understand there are safer alternatives for police and citizens?
Michael Wehrman, Newport
I agree with David Wells' assesment of the Nathaniel Jones situation. I also find the ignorance in Cincinnati appalling. For several years now, the racial profiling question has kept resurfacing, but I have a question myself: Is it really necessary to perpetuate the ignorance by resorting to violence because you felt that the law enforcement officials were out of line?
What happens when a white person, an Asian, a Hispanic person, a Laotion, or an immigrant from any other country that has landed in Cincinnati gets shot by the police? NOTHING. The public is informed, the family grieves, the department recognizes necessary force, and lives go on. Why is it, in a city that is accused of racial profiling against African-Americans, that the violence that erupts as a result of these events is performed by that self same group that feels that they are being wronged and persecuted? I think that if we took time to view each other as PEOPLE, instead of color, a lot of the violence and strife in Cincinnati could be avoided.
Instead, we take a group of people, put them into a category, and raise them above another group of people and call it racial profiling. Who is doing the racial profiling? Certainly not the Cincinnati Police. The Cincinnati Police are doing their job. We are not in the 19th century. There is no secession, unless we make it a point to do so. So why do we have to do so, and tear apart a beautiful city rich in culture and history? I am no longer a citizen of Cincinnati, and I have to say that one of my reasons for leaving had to do with the prevalence of bigotry on all sides. It disgusts me to have my vision of your wonderful city destroyed by hatred.
Angie Clark, Grandview, Iowa
I feel for Mr Jones' family. I'm sorry that he died.
BUT we can not ignore the fact that he had drugs in his system and that he weighed twice as much as the officers--and HE ATTACKED THEM FIRST!
I watched the video and it is disturbing--it is sad to watch these men fight. What were the officers suppose to do, stand there and let this big man attack them?
It appears that the police did what they could to subdue Mr. Jones for their own safety and the safety of the people in the area.
I find it very difficult to believe that the officers would intentionally harm this man--given all the bad press the police and Cincinnati has gotten over the past few years.
I'm so sick of this racist city. I'm not talking white against black--I mean black against white and citizens against the police who are there to protect all of us!
Wonder why the crime rate and homocide rate is rising in Cincinnati? Could it possibly be because our police have to watch every single move they make for fear of riots? So, maybe some of the worst criminals get away? Now we have six officers off the job--when they should be out there enforcing and monitoring!
I wouldn't be surprised if some day we have a shortage of police officers in this city--as we have a shortage of nurses. There is little respect for the people that save and/or protect our lives every day.
Gina Rubdie, Loveland
If it is your belief that racial encounters are directed to African-American, then why place yourself in such a position? We have a problem with authority and are not teaching our young people respect of others or themselves. Young blacks are dying every day, at the hands of each other. It's OK if they kill each other, but it's not OK if they are killed by policemen. What message are we conveying to the police or the community? Parents and leaders, WAKE UP. Our families are our greatest INVESTMENT. Not funerals and huge settlements at taxpayers expenses.
M.A. Williams, Pleasant Ridge
It is about time that people begin to be responsible for their own behavior. This is just another case of a freeloader being held up as a martyr. The man had a limited education, no job, two kids (out of wedlock probably) that taxpayers were supporting. If he had no job, how does he take care of himself, his children, his housing? Just guess, he lives off of the taxpayers. Instead of using taxpayer dollars to care for his kids, he spends his "free" money on drugs. And why is he dancing around White Castle at 6 a.m. when most responsible people are getting up for work?
The sad truth is that Nathaniel, just like Timothy Thomas, was a loser! Neither had an education or job. Both had children that they were not taking care of as well as criminal backrounds. Nathaniel even made a racial slur toward the police--isn't that a hate crime? No, the media disregards this and blames the cops for being racist and homocidal. Things just don't make sense anymore!
Jody Tabbs, Cincinnati
Having grown up here in Cincinnati, then moving away and coming back, I now have a different view of my hometown. Growing up in North Avondale was wonderful. I never had any problems pertaining to race. But as I grew older, it was made clear to me that there were certain places that I was not welcomed because of the color of my skin. This city has been seperated for the longest time. Everyone who is born and raised here knows this. But this sickness of division does not center solely around separate neighborhoods. As it pertains to the police, we know that there are inequities when it comes to complaints of abuse by African-Americans who have encountered our officers.
This aside, I still believe in us. Sure, Cincinnati has its racist elements. At 30 years old, I still know where not to go. It is sad, but true. Being a black man living here I have been called "nigger," unwanted, by a number of people, none which were of African descent. But the people may not have been from Cincinnati. You never know. Having dealt with racism and knowing what it is like to walk in fear, in Cincinnati, is something that I am no longer willing to tolerate. I believe better about us. Though unpopular to say right now, all white cops aren't bad. Some are, but there are some bad black cops too. There are white racists in Cincinnati, but there are some prejudiced black folk as well. We all have some problem somewhere. It is now time to take responsibility for our town. I don't care about the past. Let's stop hurting each other and start fighting for good.
Mr. Jones' death which, though sad, does not have to be in vain. I feel that the officers were trying to do their job and it turned out horribly wrong. Though I feel that perhaps some things that the officers did could have been done differently, it still does not excuse one from their own actions. Mr. Jones, unfortunately, helped the officers to finish himself off. Just as wrong as it is to beat a man into submission, it is just as wrong to ingest illegal substances and assume that there will be no ramifications. I pray for healing for the Jones family, but not just them. I pray for us, my hometown. I am tired of defending my city when I travel somewhere. This is getting old. The hurt has lingered long enough.
Black people, before we blame "the man," take a long look at yourself. What can you do to break the cycle of pain. Before we go blaming white cops for one death, let's stop shooting EACH OTHER in the head. When we stop killing each other completely, maybe then we would have a case to say that cops are trying to kill all the black men. But until I can walk through the hood and not be afraid to get shot, we've got work to do. The drugs, the crime, unwanted pregnancy and the like are not forced on ANYONE! IT IS TIME DO RIGHT. We must hold accountable any person, officer or not, who does that which is above the law.
But after that you still must look in the mirror. After you're finished marching, just stand still and look...at you. If you're honest you will see that there is something that you can do to change all this. It's time to fight. I live here, I love it here, and I am willing to fight for my hometown. Anybody else still believe?
John Gray, Westwood
Unfortunately, a life has been taken and that is a horrible loss. I may be ignorant on the matter but this is just upsetting me deeply. It seems like this has turned into a black-and-white issue, which I feel we should have gotten past long ago.
I was always taught as a young girl to obey the law and the police and if a police officer tells me to stop and drop, you should obey. I always believed that if you struck an officer in any way they had the right to fire their weapon. Also, isn't it illegal to ingest these types of drugs that this man had in his system? I have no right to judge, though.
Missy Bruno, Mt. Airy
Why does the black community's leadership have to pin their plight to the backs of criminals? This incident is not about color but about a man who voluntarily ingested very dangerous illegal street drugs and violently assaulted Cincinnati police officers, period. Granted, it is tragic whenever there is a loss of life, but please, Cincinnati's black leadership, call for the same accountability and responsibility when it clearly applies this time to someone other than the Cincinnati Police Department.
Sean McCormick, Pleasant Ridge
Had this been a white man being arrested, nobody would even be seeing this on the news. Whether this individual is white, black or whatever, if the police department can't handle a violent individual, then they aren't much of a police department.
These officers did their job, plain and simple. This man didn't die from injuries from the officers, he died because of poor health and poor choices. We need to make people responsible for their actions, not attack the innocent, hard-working contributing members of society.
If the family cared enough, they should have gotten this gentleman some drug treatment, not wait till he dies and then try to cash in on some lawsuit. The fact citizens are angry about this is a joke.
Dave Johnson, Cincinnati
As a student in Tennessee, I often rely on local news channels or news stations like Fox, CNN, etc. to report information. It is unfortunate for the city of Cincinnati that these channels are spreading lies and manipulating the facts.
The first time I saw a news report on the Jones case, it was extremely short. The video showed the police beating this man and offered no explanation, only that Cincinnati Police were at it again. It took several news stations to finally get the full report. The Cincinnati Police are being wronged by national media coverage...if you can call it that. Isn't the media supposed to give you ALL of the facts? No wonder people around the country have such a skewed view of the situation!
Jones was out of control and the police were only doing their job. The only reason Jones died was because he had several illegal drugs in his system, was severely overweight and had a heart problem. I side with the police and for those who don't...obviously you weren't watching the same video I was.
Morgan Mattox, Knoxville, Tenn.
Cincinnati sounds like an absolutely horrible place to live. I feel sorry for you. Don't you want a better quality of life for yourselves? What you allow to happen to the "least" of your citizens reflects on you all. The way you react to situations in your city make you look very ignorant.
Pat King, Albany, N.Y.
My message is simple. The culture of violence is not within the police department. It is embedded in the black community. The brutal truth is that the black Baptist ministers, the black leaders on city council, the black leaders from the inner city created Mr. Jones. They created Rodger Owensby. They created Michael Carpenter. They molded them from little children with myths and lies about white people and white police officers. They have created, and continue to create, an anti-white, anti-police culture that roots itself in the hearts of young black males. They are cowards, and until they have the courage to go down the path that awaits them, blacks will continue to see themselves as victims...and whites as their enemies.
Why is it that Ken Lawson has never been beaten down? Why hasn't Reverand Lynch...or Smitherman...or Al Sharpton...or any of the other spineless black leaders been killed in a violent police confrontation? I'll tell you why..because they know the truth! They know how the game works. You don't resist. You don't run. You don't strike an officer sworn to protect us. Black children in the inner city are dying every day in every major inner city in the U.S. They are dying because black leadeship are afraid to go down the next path that awaits them.
Every culture at some time has to look inward. It's a painful journey. It's a path where the enemy often looks like you. The cowardice of black leadership to take this path is sickening. They instead choose to fight the safe and familiar ancient foe...white people. This fight requires no new strategies...just the same old tiresome and stale calls of racism.
There is a cultural web that has wrapped itself around the souls of black people. A once proud and strong people have now gathered their masses to fight offensive flags...the use of the N word. They have become a pitiful group of warriors standing on an empty battlefield. They refuse to see the real enemy. They teach their children to fear and distrust whites, when in truth it is people that look like them that are their true enemy. Their failure to change their culture assures that they will continue to be at the bottom of every good list...and top of every bad list.
It is a lie that white people don't want blacks to succeed. It is not color, but culture, that separates us. It is a culture that rushes in to defend a violent criminal...then wonders why their communities are void of businesses. It is a culture that views education as a white thing...then blames racism for their economic failure. They use racism as both a sword and a shield. It is a culture that pressures blacks to "show their color."
If you want to improve police community relations have the courage to change the community. Stop the culture of violence in the inner city. White people did not cause the deaths of the 58 young black males in this city. Police are not the murders of Nathaniel Jones and the Carpenters and the Owensbys. The blood of these men are on the hands of the cowards like Ken Lawson...the black Baptist ministers...and the residents of the inner city who lack the courage to face the enemy who looks like them. It is not a coinincidence that the top 20 most dangerous cities in the U.S. are predominantly black. The warriors coming from the black community are pathetic. The truth has a color of its own. Stop teaching your children that standing up to the man will be rewarded. Stop teaching them that whites are responsible for their failure. Stop teaching them we don't care about them. Stop gathering your forces to face an enemy that no longer is your biggest threat. Your children are dying because of your lies and your refusal to take the path that awaits you. When you're ready to face the truth, an old enemy is ready to help you.
Ray Neighbor, Milford
OK, let me see if I've got this straight.
A man was beaten to death. Mortal blows from police batons deliberately aimed at the legs and arms. Yep, that was pretty over-aggressive. Sounds downright lethal.
What else? Out-of-control, excessive force was blatantly shown in manually wrestling to the ground a 350-pound, screaming, flailing man spewing racist slurs. Gee, shoulder pads and a helmet and we're legal again.
Never mind the man was geeked up and out of his mind by PCP, coke, lack of sleep and nicotine tweaked with methanol. "That just wasn't my grandson." Ma'am, you are so right, so right. Anyone ever explain to you what just PCP alone does to you? Can I get a witness, uh-huh.
And evidently those buff, strapping, young police officers with nothing to lose and no life were actually yearning to come into close, direct and highly vulnerable contact with someone about twice their size at 5 a.m. Yeppirs. Moreover, they shamelessly exposed their vile and wicked intent when they took longer than 240 seconds to administer aggressive CPR to a man that had just tried to take their heads off, insanely growling and exhibiting the strength of more than three men.
So, OK, let's go after the drug suppliers and gangs and the sub-base anti-social element parasitically sucking the dollars and life out of how many Nathaniel Joneses, right? Oh no, no, no. No, let's instead hire Massa Lawson to teach those bad white folk in the police that Nathaniel lost his life because of them! Sure, that makes sense.
Oh, and please don't let us forget to wail and gnash our teeth when said legal counsel loses this career-building opportunity built on the back of tragic social consequence, orchestrated shadows and innuendo to timely, right and full public disclosure of pertinent video. Methinks he doth protest too much.
And darn, filling in that 95-second gap cost at least two or three heart-wrenching, headline-grabbing, rabble-rousing marches and rallies. Gosh, it also takes away hours of juicy 10-second sound bytes piercing to the core of our wounded sense of individual rights. And the political talking heads attached to them were who?
My prayer is protection for the extended family of Nathaniel, because now they're really going to be taken for a ride. The wounds of a friend are faithful, but the sweet kisses of the wicked are deadly.
Finally, the wider tragedy here is the complete loss of credibility by most of the so-called affirmative action groups and activist, as first they failed to embrace all the preliminary facts of the incident, and secondly they blasted the release of enlightening facts and statements which evidently hurt their agenda. Their righteous agenda was hurt by impartial video and counter-advocacy, go figure.
I guess maybe I really am getting this straight.
My hat's off to the officers that risked their own well-being and showed remarkable restraint from lethal force in attempting to subdue a wigged-out cardiac case. They were truly professional in the middle of a very violent situation.
Rob McMath, Fort Mitchell, Ky.
I feel that the Cincinnati police officers involved acted appropriately. If Jones complied with officers he would probably be alive today. I feel that this issue is being blown way out of proportion. Had it been a white man we probably wouldn't be having this discussion right now. Coming to conclusions that this is a issue of race will only open old wounds from the past.
Nick Kamphaus, Fairfield
Cincinnati is being judged. Where else can you find a city that are governed by a few that are not even residents of the city? Or a local radio station that can spread hatred over 15 states? That's more murders (from the heart) than you can get from OTR (from guns) in a lifetime.
Clinton Ferguson, College Hill
This entire incident, while unfortunate, is the end result when authority is ignored and not given its proper due. You may not respect authority, or those who represent it, but we all must conform to its edicts. We expect the police to enforce ALL of our laws, not just the ones which benefit us at any given time. Cincinnatians should indeed boycott; they should boycott all of the petty naysayers who offer the city nothing, but expect everything in return.
Darryl Jouett, Covington
I am sorry for the death of this person. Tis a hard issue to deal with when we lose a family member or a friend.
I will have to stand with the bad guys on this one (police). Right, wrong or indifferent, we have to support the law and those who are to enforce it.
I have never been an officer of the law but am retired military and been under fire. As a SOF NCO, I would have shot after the first warning. The rules and laws are that and we must send the messege that law and the personnel that enforce them will be obeyed by all.
C.W. Keith, Erlanger
Enough is enough already. The so-called "activists" we have here seem to be the racists. With Timothy Thomas it was "we want the chief, mayor, and city manager to step down." Now, it's just the chief and mayor. Hmmmm...
This entire situation could have been avoided had Mr. Jones simply done what he was asked. He, in his drug-induced state (seems as if the family, Mr. Lawson and "activists" keep forgetting to mention that), CHOSE to make his own racist comments and go after the police officers. It's a sad outcome, but Mr. Jones cannot be blameless in this.
Kimberly Gaines, Clifton
I am a black male that has had several encounters with the police for things as simple as being out after dark and driving a car that they probably figured I shouldn't own. I know very well that the police can overstep the limits of their authority.
But after looking at this unedited video, I can't see how anyone can say this was police brutality. They were clearly attacked and were instructing him at all times to put his hands behind his back. They were simply trying to defend themselves and subdue this person. I think it is counterproductive for blacks to yell racism for something like this because it begins to look like we are crying over nothing. I have sympathy for this man and his family but I don't feel these cops did anything wrong.
Michael Adsfa, New Jersey
I would just like to know what happened in that two minutes that are missing from the cruiser video.
The tape stops at 5:58 and starts again at 6:00 after the confrontation has begun.
When the tape begins again you can clearly hear Mr. Jones ask the officer "Why'd you do that?" Only then does Mr. Jones begin to fight with the officers.
What did those two officers do to Mr. Jones to precipitate that confrontation, and why does the police department feel it necessary to edit out those two minutes of tape?
If their actions were justifiable then why would they have a reason to edit the tape?
I honestly believe that those two officers aked Mr. Jones what he was doing there. And Mr. Jones felt put upon because he knew that he wasn't doing anything illegal and felt like he was being hassled by the officers so he refused to answer them.
When he refused to answer them one or both officers sprayed Mr. Jones with a chemical agent prompting him to ask, "why'd you do that?" I do not believe, based on the information that the tape gives, that Mr. Jones assaulted the officers first.
I think that that one or both of the officers got upset that Mr. Jones would not cooperate by answering their questions so Mr. Jones was sprayed with either pepper spray or mace.
I do not believe any citizen should ever have to worry about retaliation by the Cincinnati police dept. simply because they choose to remain silent when bombarded with questions that they feel are unjustified or when they feel unfairly confronted.
Mr. Jones' only crime, that I could see, was in choosing to exercise his right to remain silent. Dancing isn't a crime that I am aware of.
No person, anywhere in this country, should be assaulted by any means, by any officer, for choosing to exercise a constitutional right. Much less to be killed for doing so.
And if Mr. Jones was assaulted for doing so he had every right to try to protect himself from futher assault.
Unarmed and facing weapons and superior numbers he valiantly tryed to protect himself with the only tools he had, his hands and his size. And they clearly killed him for it.
And I am tired of hearing the chief of police attempt to justify the actions of the officers by stating that Mr. Jones had drugs in his system. The officers did not know that at the time the confrontation was taking place. Their actions were undertaken solely because Mr. Jones refused to answer their questions and not based on his drug use or any other factor.
I believe the officers were ready for a confrontation when they arrived and only waited for the slightest excuse to initiate the confrontation. That type of policing policy needs to stop now.
And, if the police officers we are paying to protect us are being trained to assault, and how to assault, for simply deciding to remain silent we are all in danger.
Because that means that they are going to be allowed to continue killing first and then allowed to look for reasons to justify it later.
We need to try to stop this type of policing or it will not stop.
Tony Wilson, Fairfield
"UNION WANTS PAID ABORTIONS."
It seems worthy of a protest by Downtown Baptist ministers who think our police officers are killing innocent people on the streets while they encourage their little girls to kill their babies at the top of the hill by the hundreds every year. Is there something missing here?
Ben Coffman, Loveland
Where has Mr. Jones' family been throughout his ordeal with drugs? Why, now, must you hold the CPD accountable for this man's death? Let's get to the heart of this matter. This is not a race issue as most people would like to believe--this is a family issue. Now that Mr. Jones has passed, the family has decided to crawl out of the woodwork. Where was your support for him when he was alive? The family is partly to blame.
Shani Christensen, Mason
First of all I want to say that I did not watch the video of the incident out of fear of what I might have seen and no matter what I thought, it would not change the outcome of this situation. I just have a question for all of the people that commented that they thought the killing was justified. "If the person that died was your father, brother, sister, uncle or any of your relatives, would you think that it was justified in this case or any of the other incidents where people were killed by police instead of being restrained?"
I am sure now that your thoughts would go something like this: "Well, I know that my brother was high and acting unruly, but couldn't the police have done more to restrain him versus killing him?"
Also, would all the people who have died while being "restrained" or arrested by the CPD have died if they were maybe, one of their own (another police) that had become disorderly and possibly dangerous? What if the person was a city official, a doctor, a lawyer or maybe one of their relatives? Would they have died? I am sure that in these instances, more would have been done to restrain and control versus killing. I am not a betting man, but I bet none of these people would die. The same care needs to be taken with the everyone else. And before you begin to say, "Well, the people you mentioned would not act in that manner," don't fool yourself. You know as well as I that it happens.
Is it possible for the CPD to restrain and arrest even the most unruly and not kill them? I guess it depends on who it is.
Desmond Reid, Cincinnati
I am a former deputy sheriff that processed people into the jail right after arrest. You try and control some one that high. It is IMPOSSIBLE. They have no rationality, nor sense. I wish that the boycott idiots would give it a shot, then let me know. Lynch and Lawson would never be able to complete a 40-hour work week.
I could give a crap if I see the supposed victim's grandmother and any other extended "family" member on TV telling the general public what a great person they were. They may have been a great person until they made the decision to take a drug. In this case not one, but THREE. The combinations of those three were EXTREMELY dangerous.
It is a nice try by Lawson to incite the general public through the media. Apparently he is doing a fine job of that. The general public is being subjected to his bias, and racism through the media. His comment about mistrusting the highest official in the county (the coroner) was just wonderful. He is a money-hungry, bitter black man. I am quite sure that he received a good amount of money after the city settled the Timothy Thomas lawsuit. He is using this city for his own agenda. He is not here to help anyone; he is here to incite this city to more violence. Would he take this case (or any other) if that were a white person?
Has any one caught on that the ones that are supporting the boycott, are the ones that are the racists? Those idiots have no clue. They are in the business of inciting the public. THEY are the ones that are dividing this city.
I am sick of it. I am refusing to apologize for being white. The militant blacks need to get over it. I will not apologize for what happened over 200 years ago. There is trash in all races.
This city has lost all police power. What are we to do? Should we let all drug induced idiots control this society? Should we ignore the rest of the laws that were generated to protect? Should we stop enforcing laws, and let a race control the rest of the ones they choose for us to uphold? Should we let the excuse of race control actions? Should we take the guns away from police because of one sick individual? ABSOLUTELY NOT.
Thank you to Lt. Butler for his actions with the protest last night.
Thank you to the rest of the women and men that have made the difficult decision to protect me and my property. Thank you for the wonderful chief, that is trying his hardest to make sure we are all safe, all races included.
Regina Jourdan, Norwood
I have watched with much concern the issue regarding the death of Nathaniel Jones. When the tragedy happened three years ago that started the riots, a black co-worker stated that it is time that the black community admit their part in the deaths of its own people. She said if you look at the violent crimes, drug use, etc., you will see that a good portion if it involves a black person. She said that if they would admit that the problem with black people and crime is out of control, then maybe someone could finally do something.
Unfortunately, all they want to do is to blame others, especially the white community. I believe had it been black officers involved in the struggle with Mr. Jones, the activists would not have near the problem that they do. All they are looking for is someone to blame instead of shouldering the responsibility on themselves for problems they have allowed to get out of control. I find it sad and I wonder how many more black men or women will have to die before they wake up.
Susan Baker, Fairfield
To the Cincinnati community: Perhaps a program should be started where all grade schools are visited with a goal of teaching what the words: freeze, put your hands up, put your hands behind your back, drop the weapon mean.
If people were taught as children what to do if approached by policemen, lives would be saved and Cincinnati would not have all the controversy. At the same time, a message on the undesirability of drugs might help.
Dick Gose, Bond Hill
I grew up in Cincinnati (Lincoln Heights). I had run-ins with the police (not bad, because I was raised to respect all people). I feel deeply sadness for the Jones family. I feel sad for the people of Cincinnati because until you all sit down and talk you all will have these problems. I feel sorry for the police officers who have to go day in and day out with the public complaining every minute of the day. What happened when the police stopped shooting at us black folks? The criminally insane younger black started shooting and killing everybody. Where were our so-called black leaders then?
I live in Seattle and not long ago a black man was released from prison. He went streaking down the street naked. When a King County sheriff showed up and confronted the man, he fought with the police officer, grabbed his gun and shot him to death. The black leaders here in Seattle gather and condemned what the man did. The system failed and a officer died. The system failed in Cincinnati and a man died.
What about what the people in White Castle? Has anyone asked them what they saw? What about the security cameras? What did they show? Being a black man in America, I'm tired of the blame game when the police are involved with a citizen where he/she is black or white, or Hispanic, Asian or whatever. Take a page from the people of South Central Los Angeles who learned from their riots. Find the problem (which you know) and fix it. The blacks and Koreans didn't get along in South Central LA before the riots; they do a little more now. Why? Because they sat down and talk found the problem and fixed it.
Cincinnati, follow LA and you will be on the right page. Mr. Jones contribute to his fate by fighting with the police. Had I been them I would have shot him in the foot myself being a small black man. God bless the people of Cincinnati and its police department.
James Reese, Seattle
It is easy for those who do not stand on the front lines day in and day out to judge the actions of those officers. It is easy for the uneducated to criticize the officers, who did not choose to be put in a life-and-death situation with a very large man influenced by dangerous drugs of abuse, but responded to a call to protect others.
I ask those who would be quick to judge to have all the facts and make educated opinions about the incident before jumping on a bandwagon that uses emotion, not facts, to drive its propaganda.
Joe Gebhart, Dayton
I do not live in Cincinnati but I frequently utilize media outlets from the city. The entire Nathaniel Jones incident is tragic. Obviously, a tragedy occurred when a man beloved by his family died. Everyone should pray and offer support and empathy to his family. Another tragedy occured when this man's entire life is judged by the last hours of his life. A man is much more than any infamous incident can define. Wasting a life on the voluntary consumption of mind altering drugs represents another tragic element in this story. After an outsider hears comments from the family, surely they would have recognized a persistent drug problem in Mr. Jones and responsibly sought help for his addiction. Argueably the most tragic aspect of the incident involves the response of the religious community in the affected community. Pastors, called by God to preach and teach the masses about Jesus Christ, are creating dissension and insurrection among their congregations.
Any Bible that I have ever read illustrates how a humble and completely innocent man was condemned, beaten and killed by authorities without offering any resistance at all. This same Bible encourages cooperation with local laws and encourages us to love one another, and even to love our enemies more. However, this does not seem to be the case in your city as civil unrest is preferred to rallying behind the notion of personal responsibility for unlawful actions.
The final tragedy lies in placing police officers in situations that potentially have horrible and hideous results. No one benefits from incidents like this. the police have nothing to gain from a violent confrontation with a citizen, especially in your city, where every interaction the polce have with citizens makes headlines. Mr. Jones, by swinging at the police, took an explosive non-physical situation to a physical level. Police have long used physical responses that rely on pain compliance for effectiveness.
Could possible alternatives include utilization of non-violent physical methods to subdue and control individuals? That question cannot be answered by a civilian editorialist, but rather by experts summoned by a calm, rational community standing together to make difference instead of a divided community too busy pointing fingers at each other.
Finally, I have good advice for those who do not like interacting with the police: Do not engage in illegal activity or any activity that appears illegal. You have a great city in Cincinnati, but you may be on the verge of losing it unless everyone learns from events like Mr. Jones. His family is in my family's prayers.
John Hipes, Proctorville, Ohio
Nathaniel Jones was a crackhead who refused to follow directions from Cincinnati Police. He picked a fight with the officers and he lost, simple as that. There are two lessons to be learned from Nathaniel Jones' death:
1) Do not use drugs.
2) Obey the police officer.
Rick Miller, Delhi Township
To the Jones family: I am very sorry for your loss. Life is a very precious thing and should be relished, but when the inevitable comes, we must mourn and move on. The most important factor is our children...they must see how we (as adults) mourn, with pride and dignity, so that some day when they too are adults will know how to face the situation. Let's not teach the next generation any bad habits...they are the future of all of us.
To the police: Trying to balance your lives within a city that seems to constantly be at war with one another is an incredibly hard thing to do. Your wives/husbands and children are victims of your jobs and it takes a very strong person to hold it all together under the stress. What happened between Cincinnati officers and Mr. Jones is truly unfortunante, but by the same token your response is part of "the job." All you can do is follow the rules and hope the rules are adaquate for the situation. Be proud that your fellow officers showed the restraint that they did! Many of us (common citizens) have seen incidents where a man would take a swing at another man (much like Mr. Jones took at officers) and then end up being shoot, or perhaps dead by any means at hand at the time (pool cue, club, knife, gun)! We as citizens are taught from birth to walk away, but you as officers are required to do what is proper in this situation and control it at all costs (within your very own guidelines set by the citizenry and your superiors). The officers did as they were taught and Mr. Jones' death was just an unfortunante turn of events. If you are beating yourselves up over it, please stop...if you're not thinking about it, then you should. Learn from all experiences and your future will always be bright.
To the community: We, the suburbanites of your fair city, have sat back and watched for the past 40 years, as your city has taken a beating from within. It seems sometimes as if nothing was learned from the riots of the 60s and more recently, the 90s! It is no longer a matter of black vs. white! How long is it going to take folks to see this? It is ridiculous that every time a black man is caught on film getting beat on by a white police officer, the first thing that comes to light is a bunch of outsiders getting involved to the point where the "cause" is cheapened! If the people of Cincinnati would take their own problems to the powers that be, and if these people are in fact honest/real about what is going on (instead of looking for that million dollar payday), your problems would have been solved years ago! Let your local government spend more time elsewhere, making the city a better place to live and grow, instead of walking on eggshells every time a black person decides to "overmedicate" themselves and then make an even bigger mistake.
People, of all ethnic backgrounds, are going to get high on something, be it alcohol, pot, crack, etc. It's been the way of the poorer American people since the day the country came in to being! The war on drugs is nothing more than a way of justifying more jobs within the police community...and it's also nothing more than a big joke that isn't funny!
Mr. Jones is, unfortunately, not living proof that people will use anything to get a buzz, so instead of allowing him his drug of choice (most likely pot), he went to what was available. Some people like beer, some gin, some whiskey, and some like pot...none of them are good for human consuption! However, as long as man is still kicking, he will continue to enjoy that "day/week ending" comfort within the totally relaxing drug of choice.
I personally would think the drug laws are more cause in the death of Mr. Jones than the police officers...but then again, this is but one man's opinion.
Roy Fletcher, Falmouth, Ky.
My prayers are with the family and friends of Nathaniel Jones. I honestly do not believe that this is a race issue, however I believe that it is an abuse of power.
After watching the tape that shows Mr Jones "dancing," it clearly proved that this man had a problem of some sort. At the time these officers did not know if this man was high off drugs or had a mental problem. I believe that protection for themselves was needed but there are other ways. People are always say that violence is not the answer but what was that? It was six men to one man and you mean to tell me that's the only way to restrain him? Get serious, there has to be a better way. These officers here in Cincinnati, white, black or blue, feel that they can do what they want and get away with it, because they are "authorities".
As far as some of the comments that were made, you people who do not live in this city have no idea. Before you go and jump to the side of the officers, visit this city and you'll see that "everything that glitters isn't gold". I also would like to know how would white Cincinnati feel had there been six black officers to one white man. Would you feel the same way?
D. Bell, Cincinnati
I am totally sympathetic with the Jones family and can only hope that they have some solace that there are many (yes, even white folks) who are praying and sending them consoling messages in their heart if not by mail.
The police in this city continue to ask their FOP "leaders" to demonstrate their drunkeness with power, via the inflammatory and ignorant remarks made at the news conference on Friday. It really seems like "dumb and dumber" are in charge (as usual). I just can't believe that these two represent the force.
Lastly, I have been a normal citizen of this town for many years now and all I can know for sure is that I am so embarrased as we continue to display our unrelenting racism starting at the top!!
Martin Rosanne, Silverton
I was extremely disappointed with the focus of your coverage of the FOP's forum on Friday supporting the six officers involved in the police intervention incident that ultimately resulted in the death of Nathaniel Jones. Did anyone from the Enquirer editorial board actually listen to the presentations of Officers Webster and Fangman? I fail to understand how the Enquirer's focus on Officer Webster's comment about how the firefighters handled the Nathaniel Jones incident, made later in the news conference and in response to a specific question from the media, in any way represented the FOP's agenda at that meeting.
The FOP agenda was to defend the professionalism of the six officers involved and to educate the public regarding the realities of police work. Your coverage did little to serve that public interest. Rather, you focused your valuable community role on fueling the fire of controversy between two public institutions which to be effective must work together based on the very valuable training and expertise that each service offers.
Again, FOP President Webster only commented on the actions of the firefighters in response to a question from the media, and the answer was prefaced by a general statement that he did not have a problem with firefighters generally, but only with how this specific incident was handled.
The term "lashes out" would have been much more appropriately used in describing the words directed at civil rights leaders who fail to direct their energies at the black on black violence in Cincinnati that has resulted in 55 deaths of blacks in just this calendar year.
If this community would focus on the underlying causes of the violence in the city of Cincinnati, especially in the black communities, i.e. drugs and related gang violence, our energies might produce some positive results. Viewing the police as the enemy rather than a key partner in this battle will only further the seemingly endless stories of senseless violence in our community.
I frankly do not understand how the officers on the Cincinnati Police Force motivate themselves to put on the uniform when they are accused of not caring about human life. I cannot imagine braver men and women who confront danger on a daily basis because they do care about this community and protecting human lives. They continue to seek help in pursuing that goal of ensuring all of us a safe community. Insulting these officers is nothing but counterproductive. Until the leadership of all constituencies with this community learn to partner with the police, this community will continue to be diminished by the infighting among these various constituencies.
Mark Boyle, Amberley Village
Skippy/Nathaniel Jones + PCP + Cocaine + embalming fluid + 350 pounds + bad heart + White Castle = instant death without police involvement.
Obviously this man could care less about his health and welfare; he had a nickname of a peanut butter brand. It is no surprise he is where he is now.
To our police, keep up the good work. Because you did your job properly you were able to go home to your families. Mr. Jones could have had the same result had he choose to keep his hands to himself. However, he didn't and he lost, there is always a chance that will happen when you pick a fight. Rules of engagement are very simple indeed, you hit me I hit you back. So I hit harder, well, too bad for you.
B.B. Black, Cincinnati
I am so sick of the black community targeting Cincinnait police for doing their job! Instead of complaining or trying to change the way Cincy police handle problem citizens, why not work to keep those problem citizens off the streets? This man was tested for PCP and cocaine! Not exactly easy drugs. Not to mention the man was obease. The black community needs to look at itself to stop police violence. Prevent police from having to police you and there will be no deaths or accidents. Stop working on the aftermath and start working on stopping the problem before it starts!
Any man that assults a police officer, black or white, should be shot on the spot! If this man was white would we have the Klan out here because there was a black officer on the scene? NO! I support the Cincinnati Police Department and will speak on their behalf until I am dead! I hate people that think the world is just black and white. Racism only exists in the minds of those who need excuses for why they're not successful!
People like the Rev. Lynch and Jessie Jackson, need to stop breading hate between black and white. The 1960s are over. White people in the city of Cincinnati don't care if you are black or white; we just want to live and let live, stop crying persecution and work to solve the problems our city has. No more boycotts or riots, but hand-in-hand cooperation and understanding.
Bill Mark, Clifton
Although I do not live in Ohio, I saw the videotape of the violence perpetrated by Mr. Jones. Judging from the video, the police officers were totally justied in using the force they did.
After using illegal drugs, Mr. Jones, bad heart and all, decides to fight with police, who were enforcing the law.
Mr. Jones then dies, because of his own actions, and the community blames the police. Sounds crazy to me. The only person I see responsible for Mr. Jones death is Mr. Jones. Case closed!
Kevin DeSau, Oregon City, Ore.
I just wanted to send you a note regarding the job performance of your police department. After watching the video of the Cincinnati police and Nathaniel Jones, I must say I was impressed with the professional behavior of your fine policemen. Despite being taunted with racial slurs and attacked by Mr. Jones, these men never lost control; they just did thier job. My hat goes off to these fine officers.
At the same time I would like to express my condolences to the Jones family. It's a shame how drugs can ruin a person's life.
Bill Crosson, Philadelphia
I feel for the family of Mr. Jones. It is hard to lose a loved one. The focus, however, should be on crime, drugs.
The police try to protect us from crime and they do a good job. The thing is, we, and do mean WE, don't allow them to do their job right. It is easy to put the blame on someone trying to do their job. The real blame should be on the drug pushers. And please do not forget the criminals. If it wasn't for drugs, this man would not have been in that situation. But don't blame the police. They did not put him there. If the man was white under the same circumstances, the same thing would have happened. I don't mean to say there are no racists out there. But look deep before you react.
The community has to come together and that means everybody, no matter what race you belong to. We are all Americans and children of God. Don't you think it is about time we act like it?
I really feel bad for mr. Jones' family for losing a loved one. But the policemen have families too. They die trying to protect us. The real culprit are out there in our cities. They are called drug pushers. If we would lay off the drugs, maybe there would be less crime. And remember that God does not care what race we belong. He loves us all. We all belong to the human race. Instead of looking to blame the police blame the ones that put people in those situations.Then maybe we all could live in peace. Like the man said, God bless us every one.
Charles Leahy, Mt. Healthy
I grew up in Cincinnati and I just hate how the national media loves to bash this city. I keep seeing how 18 black males have died during altercations with Cincinnati Police Officers. Do they ever mention how many times the Cincinnati Police Officers were faced with life or death situations? No.
The Black Reverends, Jackson, Sharpton, and Lynch, could make a career of attacking the Cincinnati Police Department. They have declared themselves official spokespersons of black people, and they are more like the Taliban than true leaders. Jackson fathered a kid out of wedlock and used donations for hush money; Sharpton is a drug dealer that the FBI lacked fortitude to prosecute and Lynch is proof that a boycott only hurts the inner city, but he keeps on doing it.
Are these guys the least bit concerned that black males are killing other black males, about 40+ a year in Cincinnati? No, they are not.
Are Sharpton, Jackson and Lynch even concerned about the less than 40% high school graduation rate in inner city schools, 70% births out of wedlock, higher likelihood of going to prison for college? No, they are not. The reverends need to preach the unpopular notions of abstinence, staying off drugs, staying in schools, marriage, monogamy, and raising children to respect the police. Any culture that promotes promiscuity, out-of-wedlock births, and total disrespect for authority is doomed to fail.
Donahue Thomas, Huber Heights
Family: I'm sure Nathan was a nice man around the family, but someone had to know he was into drugs. That doesn't just happen overnight. I'm sorry for their loss. He just screwed up at the wrong time. What if hed been driving and ran over some kids or something.?
Police: I'm glad the police came out and defended themselves. And do the family really think the coroner would lie? He's a professional.
He would lose his licsence(don't know how to spell), if he got caught lying.
Robert Farrar, Goshen
I am absolutely disgusted with all the comments made. It is a lack of understanding of the fact that racism does exist. One is knowing the history of this country dating back to slavery, Jim Crow segregation and why the civil rights movement was so powerful. Black people used to be lynched in this country. Blacks still are disproportionately murdered by cops and jailed. Their neighborhoods and schools are disproportionately worse. All you have to be in conscious and not analyze the situation of what other people face by your own experiences.
I can assure you that if Nathaniel Jones was an oversized white man in a suburban neighborhood the cops would have used a stunned gun, etc. But he wasn't, so he died. I am not black, but I have been to demonstrations on similar issues. Cops will always find an excuse and I accept none of them. The killer cops should be jailed!
Natasha Kotolvosky, Cincinnati
Why is it that the Cincinnati Police Department is the only one having problems?
You don't hear of any other local law enforcement agency having the problems that the Cincinnati police have. Maybe the lack of training; or the top officials in the Cincinnati police and city government are not qualified to handle the situation.
Bill Ripple, Blue Ash
The facts are there in black and white video. Mr. Jones physically attacked the police officers. I believe the officers showed great restraint in not unholstering their weapons. Although I feel sympathy for Mr. Jones' family, he was the cause of his death. Not the city. Not the police. Not because he was black. He chose to use drugs and GET IN A CAR AND DRIVE DOWN THE STREETS HIGHER THAN A KITE! Has ANYONE considered this? This man was a lethal weapon when HE got in a vehicle and drove though the streets stoned out of his mind!
Let me ask the Jones' family and that Johnnie Cochran wannabe, Ken Lawson, one question: What if Mr. Jones' had slammed his car into a car filled with your loved ones and killed or crippled them? Who are you gonna sue then? This "gentle giant" was an adult man of 350 pounds, stoned out of his head, driving a car and, just by the grace of God, didn't kill anyone with that car before causing...yes...CAUSING...his own death.
One less drugged-out "gentle giant" is just fine with me.
To the police: You are doing a fine, admirable job. It's difficult and thankless and dangerous. I commend you and thank you.
J. Jones, Lakeside Park, Ky.
I am sorry Mr. Jones is dead and I'm sure many people feel the same. However, people keep bringing up 15 dead unarmed people have been killed in police confrontations. It is not true. Some of the 15 actually killed officers in the process of their own deaths. I think it should be clear nationwide how each of those deaths took place and what each side did to initiate the response.
Also, could someone (maybe Damon Lynch or Ken Lawson) go into the community and explain that when an officer puts you under arrest, one should put their hands behind their backs and comply. After the arrest is made, people can have their day in court to sort it out. These altercations occur because people refuse to obey the law. How many of these deaths would have been prevented if the people had simply complied with the request of the officers? At some point people have to take responsibilty for their behavior and if one choses to break the law, the police are going to respond.
If you fight or attack officers, they will respond with force. I do not understand why someone can not address the root of the problem which is not police brutality or racism. The problem is people get drunk, drugged, or commit crimes and then refuse to obey the request of the officers.
Kym Wilhite, Springfield Township
I feel very badly for Mr Jones and his family and thier loss. Life is very precious. We all should thank God for each and every day, we are very lucky.
But, if Mr Jones was such a good father and gentle man... he wouldn't be out smoking potentially lethal PCP and cocaine and dancing around a White Castle at 5 a.m. on Sunday morning; he'd be at home with his family.
The simple fact is "You CANNOT swing on a police officer and expect him to run away." If you try to kill or hurt a police officer, you are in BIG trouble, and probably lucky if you just go to jail. I'm not saying that the police have the right to kill people, but they have a dangerous job...and they were just doing their job. They didn't come out to kill that man. It was clearly self-defense that required Mr. Jones be arrested and handcuffed. Mr Jones made the decision to fight the police (yes, his decision was influenced by intoxicating, dangerous drugs) but, HE decided to fight, he decided to USE.
The police cannot be blamed for Mr Jones' bad heart, his obesity, nor for his decision to use dangerous drugs. But all of these things, coupled with the "rush" that comes with fighting, were a lethal combination. Mr. Jones was not beaten to death by the police.
Brian Smith, Sycamore
Without being biased what are officers to do in that situation? Without saying I would do this diffrent, cite examples.
The police force has worked out procedures for handling situations such as this and their tactics have been proven over the years to save lives.
My questions go to the communities involved and the leadership of Cincinnati, you can blame officers all you want but they are doing what has been told to them by the community. Instead of pointing fingers I think both groups should look inside their own homes and find what actions led to this crisis.
Jamal Jenkins, Avondale
It's obvious that all the facts are still being pieced together, so until they are, I just ask that people aren't so quick to pass judgement.
Darnell Wilburn, North Avondale
As a law enforcement professional of 15 years, I sit back in bemusement as the national media and self proclaimed activists call for job terminations, riots, and federal investigations in the wake of
the death of Nathanial Jones. I can guarantee that not one of the six officers involved feel one ounce of satisfaction over his death.
One element the media is conveniently ignoring in this whole tragic event was the presence of methanol in Jones' system. Methanol is one of the active ingredients in embalming fluid. Cigarettes laced with methanol were also found in Jones' vehicle. Why is this important? About 10 years ago, I noticed funeral homes in Indianapolis were being burglarized and only embalming fluid was being stolen. I later found out that cigarettes are dipped into the fluid and sold on the street as "Sherms" and "Wet." The high it produces is not unlike PCP (also found in Jones' system) in that it can make people extremely violent and impervious to pain. In my first experience with someone under the influence of a Sherm, I responded to a call of a 19-year-old male who was tearing up his mother's house and threatening his two younger sisters. Upon arrival at the residence with another officer, this young man, who only stood about 5-8 and weighed about 120 pounds, reacted in a similar fashion as Jones' in his reaction to the police. He immediately attacked my partner and I. We were not able to subdue him for a good five minutes, even with the assistance of two other officers. Yes, he was immune to pain and the CS repellant we used on him had no effect at all. At one point during the struggle, all four of us were sitting on his back and his legs trying to handcuff him and he was able to throw all of us off him and almost run out of the house. I have never seen anyone so violent in all my lfe. As it turned out, this young man had no history of violence until he began abusing cigarettes laced with embalming fluid. He suffered numerous injuries during the struggle (none of them serious) as did myself and two of the other officers. Did Nathaniel Jones deserve to die? Of course not. Did he contribute to his death? Yes, by abusing dangerous drugs, being in poor health, and failing to cooperate with police, who performed most admirably under the most difficult and dangerous of situations.
James Quigley, Indianapolis
With the MEDIA and the "OUTRAGED" portion of the black community having the combined intellectuality of that comparable to a grapefruit, it is obvious that they can not begin to understand the factual, in depth analysis of this tragic situation. With that said, I'll try to go ahead and put it in terms that any 4 year old can comprehend. (Still probably too complicated for some, but you can only simplify so much.)
Action - Man broke the law.
Action - Man attacked police officers.
Consequence - Man died because of HIS actions.
Action - Don't break the law.
Action - Don't attack police.
Consequence - Live to be a role model to the young people of the community.
Simple enough for you now?
Douglas Weiss, Centerville
There is no poorer example of character than that shown recently by the family, clergy, attorneys, and activists who are now trying to use the death of Nathaniel Jones for their own pursonal enrichment and political gain.
Take the family, for instance. Rather than apologize to police officers, emergency workers, and witnesses for the personal danger and emotional distress caused them by Mr. Jones' irrational and dangerous behavior, they've hired a lawyer. And the clergy, rather than offering a voice of calm and reason, have called for marches on City Hall. Then there's the Jones' attorney, who, rather than wait for all the facts, has already pubicly "convicted" the police officers of racism and using excessive force.
And let's not forget the community activists, who rather than call on their community to unite against the drug use and other criminal behavior exhibited by Mr. Jones, instead want the citizens to demand the ouster of their police chief.
Make no mistake about it, the outcry over Nathanial Jones's death is not about alleged racism or excessive force by police officers. It's not even about what's right or what's wrong, nor even what really happened that day. It is about greed. It is about power. It is about self-serving people using a tragic, but preventable, incident to incite anger in a population to help them strong-arm a city government into handing over both money and political decision-making power. I hope the citizens of Cincinnati recognize that good character does matter...and not just in police officers.
D. Wilmoth, Rochester, N.Y.
To the Jones' family: my deepest sympathy.
To the police: I ask, did we see the WHOLE tape?
To the community: every one has an opinion, those who believe that this was an murder, INJUSTICE or a downright beat down, we have got to pull down these strongholds. I am talking to the BELIEVERS in Cincinnati! It's time we stand up and get out of the building and go out in the highways and byways and be VESSELS, STAND UP FOR RIGHTEOUSNESS. Come on out of your comfort zone and be about the Lord's business!
C.K. Jackson, Finneytown
Cincinnati streets have become ugly. Roving bands of inner city blacks, defiant, have eliminated commerce in the city after dark. Drugs and murders are rampant, almost nightly, while the white people stay away from the city due to the potential conflict and, yes, fear the environment stimulates. This is all allowed, and no one can do anything about it, because of the knowledge that "racial injustice" will be cried whenever intimidators are dealt with. My God, is this city dead? Destined to be overrun by this? I fear so...nothing can be done.
Whenever police even attempt to subdue a violent criminal, as was Mr. Jones, all hell breaks loose. The criminal is shown to be a happy-go-luckly fella being harrassed by police. Don't worry about the 60-plus black murders thus far in the city, all the perpetrators, I'm sure, were also fine, upstanding and law-abiding citizens with wonderful goals. Well I, for one, have had it. This is no place for anyone progressive, with goals, and I'm out of this sad city. I'm going where barbarians don't rule the day.
Jim Jenkins, Roselawn
This story is not only making the national news, but also due to the Internet, the story is being followed all over the world. It is not my intent to indict, but rather to point out some common sense issues that are not being addressed.
What I see is a city suffering from an escalation of violence, and racial divide which is perpetuated by the media. The inflammatory comments that seem meant to try and persuade the viewer to the reporter's point of view. What ever happened to the motto, "Just the facts, please?"
We as a nation currently suffer an epidemic of obesity and diabetes. We have a society where there is a major problem with mental illness, drug and alcohol abuse.
I applaud the FOP solidarity, but I have to ask if the union members or Chief Streicher and the city council have performed a statistical analysis looking at the demographics served and the probability that our police officers will again be called to respond to the scene with a suspect who is obese, black and out of control? Have they been working on procedures and purchasing equipment in the event such an arrest would be necessary? And, is it not the responsibility of the union to make sure the superior officers provide their staff with adequate training and the appropriate equipment to do their job safely, to protect themselves and the citizens?
I personally have family members and friends who are morbidly obese with diabetes. Their concerns are, what if they are in public, the police are called, because they are behaving odd, and they go after a cop who responded only to check out the situation, will they wind up dead?
While I never worked in the justice system, I did work where I supervised EMS staff. The first priority, is to consider all possible scenarios, along with contingency plans. Therefore, we participated in "mock" scenarios to test our procedures, knowing we may still face unexpected circumstances. When we did run into these unforeseen scenarios, that became the next training session using feedback from the staff involved and the team going over ideas, developing new procedures, allowing us to be more prepared until the next unexpected scenario.
When emotions are involved, logic goes out the window, and this is precisely why trained professionals will continue to follow procedures, regardless of the adrenaline rush, and do their job accordingly, as if on "automatic pilot," and that comes with adequate training. The evidence abounds that with the continued increase of murder, and continued escalation of violent encounters, what we are now doing is not working. Yes, the police may win this "war" but the outcome will be a "pyrrhic victory."
Therefore, I am asking all citizens, City Council, the fire department, and the police, to not allow Mr. Jone's death to be in vain. Let us work together to find why these things happen and put into place measures to prevent these tragedies from happening again. The sworn duty of a police officer is to "Serve and Protect." The Boy Scout motto, is "Be prepared."
In closing, I want to wish each and every individual a safe and happy holiday season. I want the police officers, the city council and the community, especially the family of Mr. Jones to know that they are in my prayers.
Peggy Campbell, Green Township
IF ONLY Nathaniel "Skipper" Jones hadn't taken drugs; cocaine, PCP and smoked those methanol dipped cigarettes...
IF ONLY Skip had stayed at home if he wanted to get high...
IF ONLY Skip had not passed out in a public place...
IF ONLY the White Castle employee had not placed that 911 call...
IF ONLY Skip had not "become a nuisance" when the EMTs attempted to help him...
IF ONLY the EMT's had not called for help from the police...
IF ONLY the police had not responded...
IF ONLY Skip had not fought with the police...
IF ONLY people would accept responsibility for their actions and stop blaming others.
Richard Wilkerson, Bloomington, Calif.
As the wife of a police officer, the daughter of a police chief, and the mother of three young children, I thought I would share my thoughts.
Although many would like to believe the Nathaniel Jones case is simply about white police officers killing black men, I believe there are underlying issues that the Cincinnati community has failed to address. Those issues are simply called respect and personal responsibility, regardless of race, nationality or culture.
Our culture today has been so focused on individual rights, freedoms, and tolerance, that they have left out the most basic of social concerns: respect. At one point in our nation's history, people were taught to respect those in authority, whether that be parents, teachers, police officers or bosses. And when something was done wrong, people were held personally responsible: kids were disciplined, students received detentions, unruly citizens were arrested.
On the tapes of the Nathaniel Jones incident, I distinctly remember the police officers shouting, "put your hands behind your back" many different times. I'm wondering what would have happened if Nathaniel Jones did just that. I'm guessing the confrontation would have been avoided.
Let's not forget that Nathaniel Jones attacked the police officers, not the other way around. And on any given day when my husband goes out to face these types of issues, I expect him to return at the end of the day. And I expect him to do what he is trained to do in order to do that.
In speaking with my husband, he described an incident with his department where they faced a man weighing 110 pounds and was on PCP. He stated that it took 10 officers to restrain the man. Compare that to Nathaniel Jones who weighed almost 350 pounds. Can any of us say that we would not have been afraid for our lives when put in the same circumstances as the police were that night? There are many people out there who love to criticize the police but I'm wondering how many of those same people would be willing to risk their lives on a daily basis, like the police do, like my husband does.
It may be true that Nathaniel was a wonderful person, great father and had no violent background. However, on that night, at that given moment in time, Nathaniel Jones made the decision to first abuse drugs and then attack the police officers. Unfortunately, there were consequences. And because of the combination of heart problems, weight and drugs, Mr. Jones paid the ultimate price. For that I am truly sorry.
So instead of blaming police and race and color, we should start focusing on respect and personal responsibility. After all, those characteristics are "color blind."
I'm guessing if we raise children to respect their parents, teachers, police officers and others in authority and focus on personal responsibility and consequences, the number of altercations with police would greatly decrease. And that can be true regardless of race, color, nationality or religion.
To the Cincinnati police officers, thank you for doing your job in the midst of such difficult circumstances. It takes great courage to hold up under such scrutiny!
Kristen Petrocelli, Mason
You MUST take responsibility for yourself. Anything less is unacceptable. Parents MUST teach their children to be responsible for their own actions. Stop making excuses and whining when you or your children misbehave and the consequences come back to haunt you. It's NOT society's fault. It's YOUR fault.
Nathaniel Jones died because no one taught him to stop when a cop says, "Stop!"
There was a time when I desired to live together peacefully, but I've grown tired of the whiney excuses and blame projection. So I've decided to simply move out of hearing range. What was that? Sorry, I can no longer hear you.
Katey Shaw, Springdale
Just ANOTHER example of the brutal racism perpetrated agaisnt Black people in America! When will it ever end? Had Nathaniel Jones been white-he would be alive today!
This video INFURIATES me and fills me with rage!
John Collins, Clifton
In the early 1980's while working as an police officer in Michigan, my partner and I were dispatched as backup to a unit that had just made a DUI arrest. The primary unit had arrested the driver (a young female) and they were waiting to get authorization to arrest the car's owner, who although a passenger, had knowingly let this woman drive. By the way, the owner of the car was the brother-in-law of one of our officers. Let's call him "Jim" for the sake of this story.
After the primary unit departed with their prisoner, we stayed with "Jim" waiting for the prosecutors office to contact us. But "Jim" didn't want to wait. So he jumped in his car and led us on a short chase resulting in a collison between his car and ours. As we tried to get him out of the car, and later fighting him outside the car, my partner and I, to say it mildly, were getting our butts kicked. Our department didn't let us use billyclubs so it was an old fashioned street fight. I guess we could have shot him, but that would have just made our buddy's wife mad and subjected us to the ridicule that your city officers are recieving now. So we fought himfor 20 minutes!
When it was done, I suffered numerous lacerations, two broken teeth, and my uniform was a shambles. My partner suffered similiar injuries. Our buddy "Jim" had recieved repeated "defensive holds" taught to us in the academy, punches to the jaw, groin, and stomach, and finally was subdued by six of us. And all the while he was calling us "pussies" and laughing at us.
Now you would think that this guy looked like Mr. Jones right? Well, to tell you the truth, he was about 5-11 and 140 pounds soaking wet. I'm 6-3, 250 and my partner was only slightly lighter but the same height as me. Now I know you're asking what was the equalizer? Was he an Army Ranger? Maybe a Navy Seal? Did he box in the Golden Gloves? Know Tai Kwon Do? Nope, none of it. He was high on cocaine and PCP!
So before you so called "experts" start heaping scorn on the cops, think about my incident and ask yourself what it would have been like if "Jim" weighed 400 pounds? I can tell what it would have been like if he was as big as Mr. Jones.
"Jim" would have been dead and some civilian review board or the ACLU would have been calling for my badge and prosecution. Know why? Because unlike your officer's I would have shot the SOB! But then I guess the Cincinnati Police Officers involved in this incident were braver men then me! So back off with the scorn and be glad you're only burying one of your citizens. It could have been worse!
Keith Stanton, Boca Raton, Fla.
As a paramedic for almost 30 years, and someone who was born and raised in Cincinnati, I was amazed to see the CFD engine company leave the scene after summoning the police for assistance. I received my paramedic training in Cincinnati and the rules are the same there as anywhere else. Once you make patient contact, you are responsible for the care of the patient until you turn over care to someone of higher medical authority or with a signed release from the patient. Anything else is abandonment.
I read that they were cleared by their officer. Once the patient was restrained by the police, they had an obligation to clear the patient medically before turning him over to the police. The police were amazed they had left the scene and rightfully so. The focus of the Fire Chief's investigation is if they had the right to call for the police in the first place. Any medic has the right to call for police whenever he feels threatened. That should not be the focus. The focus should be the abandonment of the patient and the lack of any medical care once his critical condition was noticed.
Bill Needles, Austin, Texas
In watching the national TV in St. Pete Beach, Fla., my initial response was "Oh no, not again." Fortunately Fox did show the initial attack on the police, and except for some expected commentary, most of the commentary was calm. They pointed out the initial attack, and also that there were no racist comments by the police. However, this again shows that there is no way the police can do their jobs without an intense public scrutiny.
Raymond Odioso, St. Pete Beach, Fla.
He attacked the police. Black, white, blue, he was wrong. Black Coalition, NAACP, Ken Lawson, you are the problem.
I am sorry the man died, but thank you Cincinnati Police Department for protecting us.
Leo Smith, Butler County
I feel bad for Jones' family, I really do. But we have to realize that he was hitting an officer and that those officers would have reacted the same if Jones was white. It was Jones' fault he died. Maybe if he wasn't on drugs he wouldn't have been called on. Instead, he made poor decisions that lead to his death.
The officers were only protecting the community and maybe we are all better off for not having another druggie on our streets. Not to be racist, but I think Rev. Lynch and other irrational leaders like him need to realize that all of these men dying in custody provoked the actions that caused their death. Maybe Lynch should find a way to riot against criminal activity and not boycott the rest of the city because he thinks "we are against blacks." Maybe he should resign his position of igniting racial anger. People should riot for that.
Brian Walker, Terrace Park
Hearing about the Jones incident and reading the overwhelming number of comments supporting the police actions and blaming Jones himself is a sharp reminder of why I and so many minorities I know moved out of Cincinnati after high school and do not plan to move back until the city addresses its racial issues.
This specific incident, in a vaccuum, would not be so egregious, but in the context of the Cincinnati police force's history of unjustified violence and profiling of blacks and other minorities, it is symptomatic of a problem which our (white) local politicians, pundits and business and civic leaders continue to ignore. Jones was beaten with the nightstick with much more frequency and intensity than necessary, which contributed to his death (thus making this a case of manslaughter, if not murder).
One more thing: a comment written below reads: "I am so sick of hearing how bad the black people in Cincinnati are treated. If you think you would be treated better elsewhere then move there."
As a minority, I did move elsewhere, partially because of racists like yourself. And I assure you, while this new city has less diversity than Cincinnati, it holds much, much greater tolerance and acceptance, something I spent my entire Cincinnati-based childhood searching for but not finding. But moving away doesn't solve the problem, it only increases segregation and contributes to Cincinnati's reputation around the country as a backwards, racist Midwestern city.
Pamela Harkena, Boulder, Colo.
I think I have this straight but I need some clarification: the police need better training to recognize people with mental problems and better ways to deal with violent behaviors? Then here is a suggestion for the CPD. Next time an officer is attacked, that officer is on his own until the second officer can call the thug's family and request information. Then the backup arrives and must request a blood sample from the attacker (while he beats the officer). While the blood sample is being tested for drugs (after all, the police need to realize the attacker is on drugs first, right?), the police are to request a complete medical profile to see if the attacker (again, while beating the officer) has a mental illness history. After securing all this info, the officers are to then use all the psychology they learned to talk the attacker out of killing any more policemen.
Yeah, that makes a lot of sense.
The officers had no way of knowing if Jones was on drugs or had a mental condition. For all they knew in that few seconds, Jones was an axe murderer trying to elude capture. Jones attacked the officers. The officers responded in the quickest possible procedure to demobilize Jones from harming themselves or some innocent bystander.
In fact, look at the tape again: you'll notice the officer was using the wrong end of the baton for several seconds. That shows there wasn't enough time to do anything other than secure the criminal. Jones attacked an officer. That makes him a violent at that moment; a felon resisting arrest.
Oh, never mind. Let the black clergy march. Let the dumbest city council in the nation keep making stupid remarks like they have. Go ahead and riot like there was a few years ago. All it does is remind me that I will not be opening any branches of my business in Cincinnati out of fear that the thugs are running the city, the council, and the whole danged place.
If I had seen some semblance of logic from the community "leaders" and the majority of the city council, I may have concluded Cincinnati had gotten its act together. Now, I know the thugs are running the place and I will not put my business, my employees, my dollars, and my family at risk by ever going to Thugville.
Thanks a lot, Cincinnati. Your standing tall for criminals has kept me from making silly business decisions by branching into your town and hiring anyone there. You lost my business.
James Hale, Atlanta
Well, folks, here we go again. My thoughts are since every police officer in this town seems to be prejudice maybe the next time there is a shooting or somebody is breaking down your door instead of calling the police we should call on, let's see, the NAACP or the Black Baptist Ministers. Let's see how quick they are to come running and confront a person that is high on PCP or heroine or whatever the drug of choice is that day. I bet we might be waiting awhile for them to respond to such an action.
Let's wake up people. It doesn't matter what color your skin is; the police have a job to do that most of us would not even consider doing. Let's give them some credit and the next time a very large 350-pound man that is high on PCP and cocaine lunges at you, let's all sit back and watch how you handle the situation.
Randy Picadio, Colerain
We the people not black/white etc. have forgotton how to show respect to people where we work, where we eat.
Fact: Police officers are humans first. They bleed like we do. It's time to stop blaming! I was taught not to fight, or run from a policeperson.
Fact: Jones would have not died perhaps, if he did not fight these men. I am on the streets. I see a lot of people ready to fight someone who accidently touch you. Kids that will be fighting or acting crazy, they will act like we are in they way it is time to stop hating. Time to start showing each other respect.
I too know a man who was killed by police. It was dumb and he was white. But, he was acting like a fool. Learn to act like a human, a person, not like a spoil child.
All us learn anger managment. With what Jones, had in his body shows me he did not even respect his self. He was killing himself, slowly but surely. Has not 9/11 shown us that life is too uncertain? The dream of King, was not for us to fight but to make something of ourselfs. No one here wants slaves we do want respect black, yellow.
As Judge Brown, says do not be part of the problem.
Botto Lana, Deer Park/Silverton
My 5-year-old son came to me while I was making dinner Saturday and said "Dad, I don't want to be a policeman. It's too dangerous." I asked him why he said that. Did he see or hear anything recently that would make him say that? He replied "No, there's just bad guys that want to hurt them."
This little boy doesn't know anything about Nathaniel Jones and what happened last week. He does not see or hear local news because we do not watch or listen to it with our children present. How ironic with all this controversy going on that my innocent 5-year-old would say that. I guess it came up because he has been busy thinking about career choices lately. He has kept himself busy by pretending to be a cowboy, an Indian, a policeman, a construction worker, a hunter and a spaceman (Star Wars) in the past few weeks.
Mark Wuest, Fairfield
The confrontation between Nathaniel Jones and the Cincinnati police was in the newspapers, on the radio, on TV, and on the Internet.
For many persons, it brought forth memories of other conflicts between citizens and the police, as well as soldiers and civilians.
Soon we will be hearing the Christmas message of "Peace on earth to persons of goodwill." Peace is what we all want. But, like all the gifts we hope for, it comes with a price.
And, part of the price each of must pay, is in what we do in order to understand better, ourselves and our neighbors. It is not something we can buy at the mall or at city hall.
The seeds of peace are truth, justice, liberty and love. Without these guiding principles no community will be at rest.
None of us owns these, but to the degree that we share them with our neighbors, peace will blossom wherever it is planted and nourished.
Don Sheehan, Westwood
My prayers go out to all involved and their families. The tragedy that took place will never be forgotten. However, I support the police and their actions that eventful day. They had no idea what they were in for that morning. While I believe the accounts of Mr. Jones being a good guy and a loving family man, I feel it says something about the dangers of drugs and how they can take a teddy bear type like Jones and turn him into a violent person who attacks police officers.
Chris Evans, London, Ky.
It's unfortunate when anyone dies in an incident like this, but let's look at the situation for what it really is...the guy is dead because he used illegal drugs and attacked the police. There's no need to try and turn it into a race-based problem, because it isn't. People have to take responsibility for their actions. Nobody made Mr. Jones get out of control on drugs; he did it to himself and unfortunately, he paid the ultimate price. Don't point fingers at our police, because they were just doing their job, and as far as I am concerned, they did the very best they could.
Kelley Cowdrey, Hyde Park
This is a message to the Cincinnati community. I give full support to the Police on this issue. If an officer is attacked, then the person, no matter who they are, black or white, will need to be taken down. The police have a tough job and deal with violent criminals daily.
Now, for people to support a man who was high as a kite and in the wrong for getting violent is sad. Also the media does not show the support for the police, only the ignorant people looking for action. If the police cannot enforce the laws, then more murders will take over the city.
Matt Cable, Madison Place
I feel bad for what has happened. However, the police did nothing wrong and were just doing their job. Black racists that want to say the police provoked Mr. Jones when the tape was off is just ridiculous. The fact is that Mr. Jones attacked the police officers and kept resisting arrest. The police did what they needed to do to subdue a 350-pound man.
According to the coroner, all the bruises from the nightstick were on his lower body, so it was obvious the police had no intent to kill or even seriously harm.
I'm sorry for those who say Mr. Jones was a nice, kind, and good father. A good father is not at White Castle at 5:00 a.m. doped up on cocaine and PCP. A good father is at home with his kids and drug-free.
Ninety-five percent of the murders in Cincinnati is black-on-black crime, so I think we know what needs to change and its not the police. People need to stop putting the police officers in these situations.
Scott Hidden, Cincinnati
What is wrong with this city? The African-American population in particular! Cincinnati has many different minorities, you never hear that the police are unjustly using force on anyone except the African-Americans.
This seems to tell me that because of people like Damon Lynch, Kenneth Lawson and others, the African-American community, mostly the younger generation, is being taught to fight the police so that they can get a payday from the city of Cincinnati. Unfortunately, the only people making money are the above mentioned people.
Kenneth Lawson doesn't educate African-Americans to respect police (black or white) and that he will be there for them when he is needed; he doesn't make the big check like that.
Damon Lynch doesn't preach to African-Americans to respect the police; rather, he has marches on the police station and afterward passes around the donation plate and says, "Let's pray."
It seems to me that as long as African-Americans put any weight in men like Kenneth Lawson, Damon Lynch and others who are making a living off of the hardship of their own race at the cost of young men, this problem will always be in Cincinnati, Ohio.
Nathaniel Jones' dying was unfortunate but, because of people like Kenneth Lawson and Damon Lynch, he has been tought to disrespect police. Where were Mr.Lawson and Mr.Lynch when Mr. Jones was going from what seems to be a father,son and brother to a drug user? Why are Mr.Lawson and Mr.Lynch never heard from unti it is to late and another young man has died doing what they say to do?
African-Americans need to wake up and realize that the only people that are not being affected in a negative way when these things happen are people like Mr.Lawson, Mr.Lynch and others like them. They make there living off these events and preach in a way that enable these events to continue to happen.
Mr. Jones' death is felt by all in Cincinnati. Maybe the African-Americans can start looking into why Mr. Lawson and Mr. Lynch are always padding their pockets when these things happen. Why aren't they out there educating young black men to do what most citizens do (of all races) when confronted by the police? The reason is simple, they make no money when some one doesn't die. Young black men and their families are paying the price so that Mr. Lawson, Mr. Lynch and others can live high off the sorrow of their people.
The police did an excellent job given the situation at hand. it is unfortunate that Mr.jones died but, his mind was clouded by illegal drugs and the ramblings of Mr.Lawson, Mr.Lynch and others.
Wake up Cincinnati, it's not a racial issue, it's an issue of a few men who are taking advantage of their race in order to pad their pockets.
John Frayne, Cincinnati
It was with a darkened heart that I watched the recent events unfold that led to the death of Mr. Jones. Sometimes, in those darkest moments, the smallest light can seem like the brightest of stars. That light came from the heart of Mr. Jones' grandmother Bessie. Her loving statements spoke of grief for the departed and the need for love for each other, not violence towards each other, to fill the great divide within Cincinnati.
While few might view Cincinnati as having a most onerous racial problem, many will recognize the peaceful accomplishments that we as a community make as a landmark model for other troubled communities.
Keith Falter, Eastside
Once again, the Cincinnati police officers used excessive force on an unarmed citizen. The officers should be fired and thrown in jail for killing another human being. The world is watching you. These actions are similar to the KKK except now they are wearing police uniforms. Shame on them, shame on them.
Jay Vee, New York City
Mr. Jones caused his own death by FIGHTING and trying to VIOLENTLY ASSAULT officers of the law. We can not blame the police for protecting themselves! All of this how he was such a "nice man" is nothing but the black community trying to cause more problems. If you want to focus on something, focus on the 66 deaths from black-on-black crime and quit trying to blame everything on the white race!
Peter McDavid, Cincinnati
First I want to say Jones' death is a tragedy. Any time someone dies in custody, it's bad. But, you've got to blame the right person. Mr. Jones brought this on himself. On the video it shows, clearly, Mr. Jones attacking an officer. That's why the Officers used their PR-24s against Mr. Jones. Ohio Peace Officer Training Academy (opota) use of force conitium states to use a level of force one step higher than the suspect. Thats why they used the PR-24s.
Then I heard Ken Lawson ("Big Mouth") talking about something he has no clue about. He stated that "the officers shouldn't have put Mr. Jones on his stomach after they cuffed him." For those people who are not in law enforcement, this is standard procedure. That's the first thing you're taught when dealing with a combative suspect, get them on the ground and cuff them.
The black community leaders are stating that the police are only killing the "black man." Here's a dose of reality for you so-called activists: The black community probably commits 70% of the crime in Cincinnati. Instead of using your time and energy protesting against the police, use it to fix the real problem, the crime rate in the black community. Work on education and family values.
I don't live in Cincinnati, nor would I want to. I do work in law enforcement and I treat everyone fair. But, when it comes to dealing with a black person the first time they think your treating them different they throw out the race card. Why is that?
Instead of the "African-Americans" blaming everyone else for their problems, take some responsibility for your actions, and maybe you'll help your commuinity in the process.
Greg Simpson, Hamilton
Between life and death is a point of submission or weakness in a person. Why did Cincinnati police not stop when Jones was at that point of weakness? Jones at some point became less aggressive as death was coming on, right? That's not probable cause to pursue another tactic? Like the protecting and serving the cause of his right to live? Before the police put you in handcuffs they say, "This is for your protection and ours." How is this concept valued in the police department? And when the case goes to Cincinnati court for police shooting a man in the back (Timothy Thomas) or beating a man to death with nightsticks (Nathaniel Jones) or choking a man to death (Owensby), the ruling is a suspension, a demotion in rank, a loss of an officers job? They think this is the justice that comforts the soul of family and friends? What happens to the regular Joe who commits these type of actions? What puts a man with a badge above any other citizen? Is not he a citizen like us?
So what's the protection and service of when I serve 25 to life in prison and officers are served a job termination slip (or less) for the same crimes as everyday people? If we don't wake up government will keep rocking us to sleep? They think of themselves as "the caretakers" of the people. And Momma, when your baby is crying at home what do you do? Pick him up pat him on the back tell him "Shh, it's all right, baby, it's all right. Momma's here." Maybe put something in his mouth to keep him happy. Keep him quiet. "Shhh..go to sleep, baby, go to sleep."
Antuon Johnson, College Hill
The Cincinnati police need to change their violent behavior. Your city is gaining a horrible reputaion because of vicious police actions. The community must take action against such brutishness and demand the offending officers be brought to trial and pay the price they demand of John Q. Public.
Ann Kinslte, Braselton, Ga.
The truth is probably grayer than it seems. I haven't made a decision yet because we as a public don't know what caused the man to flip out. So I'm waiting for more details.
Alex C., Cincinnati
There is little that I can add that has not already been said. Of course, I feel sadness that a young person has died. I have two questions, however:
1) Where were all these people who love and care about this "gentle giant" while he was killing himself with food, alcohol and other drugs? It is certainly easy to now jump up and say how hurt you are and victimized by the police and society, etc., because now it is about YOU. Why weren't you there to help Nathaniel to beat his addictions to food and hard drugs? Where were the rest of the "victims" of this "injustice" while he was killing himself?
2) Why do so many people have such firm opinions when all of the facts are not yet known? That speaks to prejudice from all sides. Is it not possible that everyone is to blame a little? Are our minds not open enough to accept that everyone is human and capable of error or misjudgement? Did Mr. Jones endanger himself and the police officers? Without question, yes. Did the officers use too much force? Possibly. I am not a police officer and have never been attacked in this manner, so I cannot say and neither can most of you reading this. Let's keep our heads and approach this situation logically. This has, right or wrong, become a racial issue. Emotion is a dangerous and counterproductive force in racially charged issues. The climate is certainly not helped by outside rabble-rousers like Sharpton who come in for their own aggrandizement and to further inflate their public image with no regard for the overall well-being of our community (about which they know so little). When listening to these grandstanders, always keep in mind: What they have to gain?
Philip Keith, Clifton
The headline of this story is absolute nonsense! Nothing has changed regarding the extortionist ministers wing of the Southern Baptist church in Cincinnati. The only factor resulting in the difference of response from Cincinnati's black "leadership" is more effective use of in-car video recording. If the results of the Nathaniel Jones case had happened out of the camera eye, Rev. Damon Lynch would have provided Cincinnati with April 2000 revisited within hours.
Another point: Had Nathaniel Jones been Caucasian, do you honestly think that notifying city manager Valerie Lemmie would have been of such high priority? I'd be surprised if any special effort would have been made to contact Ms. Lemmie and probably would have been considered average priority and could have waited until her next day's briefing. Cincinnati, wake up, the lenses in your rose colored glasses are getting as thick as coke bottles.
Douglas Proctor, Withamsville
I'm hurt that people can comment on something they do not know anything about, people who do not live in Cincinnati do not have all the fact; you go on what you read or what the media reports and sometimes that can be a lie.
There is more to this incident then what you see from the police video; this was supposed to be a medical call, not a dead man walking call. The facts are: the 96 seconds that you did not see on the police video because it was turned off, and we all no that a lot can happen in that time frame; there are a lot of witnesses, but you will not hear about that in the paper or the media. Mr. Jones was provoked by the police and that's why he react the way he did. When you push a person in a corner they will react.
Bootsie Evans, Cincinnati
Thanks for doing your job. It was helpful for me in discussion with my son about doing what the police tell you to do. If they ask you to not walk across the street, don't walk. If they pull your car over, pull over. When I heard that the Coroner called this a "homicide," I had to look up the Webster's definition: The killing or murder of a person by another person. This was not a homicide. It was police doing what they were hired to do. Again, thank you.
Richard Burleson, Orlando, Fla.
This is the second time I have read an article by one of your reporters where the description of the activity leading up the death of Nathaniel Jones was described as Mr. Jones lunging at the police.
Mr. Jones did not "lunge" at the police. Mr. Jones attacked a police officer with his fists and put that officer in a headlock. That's hardly a lunge. The officers defended themselves against a giant of a man who was high on drugs. They did it the way they have been instructed. Unfortunately, Mr. Jones died as a result of actions he initiated. How about you get it right, this time?
Ron Brown, West Chester
I'm very saddened by what happened. We don't have all of the facts at this time, so why are people concluding that what the officers did was justified? Is the objective to kill everytime someone disobeys?
The officers had a right to constrain Nathaniel, but from my perspective once they subduded him on the ground, why did the blows continue? There was no need for the repeated blows. There were six officers there, and could have handcuffed him. I get tired of hearing that it's OK for an officer to kill someone if the subject resists.
Sally Phelps, North Avondale
I served as a police officer for over 23 years. The officers used excessive force, in my opinion. The FOP is part of the problem in Cincinnati along with the Chief of Police, Mayor, and City Council members who refuse to be leaders and settle for managers of the crisis.
The citizens of Cincinnati should have recalled the mayor and city council members after the first death of a black man. When are we going to wake up and stop this madness in our neighborhoods and communities? The police must be stopped.
Ronald Hampton, Washington, D.C.
Jones got what he deserved, he should have not been on drugs and therefore would have not got into a fight with the police who where doing their job. When will the black community stand and take some responsibility for its actions in this city and not blame everybody else? Support the police!
Susan DeFilippis, Mt. Washington
Where was the NAACP and the black coalition when a black officer was dragged down the street by a 12-year-old black kid? Where was the NAACP when the black officer was killed on one of the bridges by another black man? This is ridiculous. Everyone talks about racism. Have you noticed that these crimes happen in predominantly black neighborhoods? How can you be racist when the majority of people around you are the race that is claiming racism? This is just ridiculous.
Why doesn't the Coalition for a Just Cincinnati start at the real source of the problem: black on black crime and drugs. If they were to get drugs off the streets and decrease the amount of black on black crime, police wouldn't need to patrol these neighborhoods so frequently.
When it comes to Nathaniel Jones all you have to do is look at the first 10 seconds of the police cruiser tape: He called a white officer a "redneck, white boy." Who's the racist now? Then, he attacked the officer. Was the officer in the right to defend himself? Of course he was. Be it black, white, Asian, Indian, etc., if someone attacks you, you have the right to defend yourself. The officers were treated as criminals in this case. They were read their rights and interrogated as criminals, which isn't even police policy.
Go into any predominantly white neighborhood and you see the children respecting the officers. Yes sir, no sir are on order. Go into predominantly black neighborhoods and the officers are treated as ingrates, criminals and societal rejects. If black neighborhoods would respect officers, none of this would happen.
Good luck in getting your demands met, CJC and NAACP. With black people attacking and shooting police officers, would you want to comply?
Justin Wright, Sharonville
This city has not changed since the last incident. We still live in a city with racist white police officers that do not care about black life. Mr. Jones should have been treated as a mental patient, but most white folks do not know how to communicate with normal black people, let alone a black person that is acting strangely.
Because white people are not familiar with the actions of normal black people, they could not know how to identify a black man that is not behaving normally. I have found that a lot of white folks do not know how to handle a crisis, especially among the descendants of slaves in this city.
Deborah Williams, Bond Hill
My condolences go to the Jones family and as well, I feel badly for the police officers involved in this tragedy.
As a former Price Hill resident now living in Columbus, Ohio, I could state that as far as things go Cincinnati has been for me "the city to avoid" since 1986.
Mr. Jones' death in Police custody is no surprise to me. The people of Cincinnati have done far too little to improve their attitudes regarding race and integration or to set an expectation for what their law enforcement should be.
As I recall Cincinnatians have always liked their police to be heavy handed brutes. The law enforcement officers in the Cincinnati I remember seemed in the 1980's to have been imported from the Balkans-more like former Serbian death camp gaurds than American Peace Officers.
My experience as a victim of a mugging in Clifton during the 1980s, an incident very poorly handled (to say the best) by the police, taught me then and there that Cincinnati's finest are anything but...at the time I couldn't decide who I hated the most for my injury: the cops or the muggers...and neither "gang" has improved much if any since.
The thing is, regardless of the circumstance, Cincinnati's police have an attitude. They are mean-spirited and unsympathetic even to victims of crime because the general populace (regardless of race or color, etc.) of Cincinnati is itself vicious and nasty and indifferent. That Cincinnati's leaders can't seem to face that fact and do something about it really is the reason for the racial problems and all of the others. Cincinnati should be a nice place to live, but it isn't!
The real police problem has little if anything to do with race per seor even with the police officers as individuals nor is it the poor training they receivealthough black citizens seem to bear the brunt of police incompetency and are also more often the victims of crime. The real problem is a city populace that has chosen to live a myth.
Cincinnati is a city living in a vacuum that collectively perceives itself as Ronald Reagan's pet big-league boom town and could care less about fixing the problems of the crime, poverty, disparity, greed, corruption and the total disintegration of human values that abounds within its borders. It almost seems as if Cincinnatians are proud of being infamous. Cincinnati is a populace in denial, just like Serbs in Yugoslavia or the Germans of Hitler's Germanytotally blind to their own wrongs but more than willing to grasp at straws and nitpick others' shortcomings.
All Cincinnatians, not just the blacks, should be outraged by the excessive use of vicious tactics employed by law enforcement. That police officers should even feel the need to employ such tactics is in itself an outrage.
The negative attitudes of Cincinnati's Cops are merely a reflection of a populace that must have the lowest self esteem of any group of people anywhere in the nation. It is obviously a populace too afraid of itself to be honest with itself about itself.
Bill Dickman, Columbus, Ohio
As a proud native Cincinnatian I am once more appalled to see my hometown drug through the mud with the national media over such a senseless situation.
I am grieved over a life that was tragically lost. But I am equally grieved over the reaction toward the officers who were simply doing their job. What would you do if someone lunged at you and was totally out of control? What kind of person lunges at a police officer? When a police officer tells you to get down on the ground, you do it. I don't care what you have (or have not) done or if you are red, yellow, black or white.
I will always love my hometown but I must say I am fortunate to live in a southern city where everyone works together for the good of the community. How ironic.
I truly believe Cincinnati's best days are ahead of her. If only her citizens would come togther, put their petty differences aside and treat one another with love and respect.
I look forward to the day when I can once more talk proudly about my hometown instead of explaining to these Southerners how divided it is racially.
"Do to others as you would have them do to you." Luke 6:31
Paul Castell, Jackson, Tenn.
I grew up in Cincinnati just walking distance from the site of Mr Jones' murder and it hurts. My mom called it "her" White Castle; now it's an infamous crime scene. It hurts to be from Cincinnati, to see another man lose his life a million times on the news in front of my son. Just when we were getting some headway in explaining the Michael Jackson thing there's this tragedy playing out before us. At seven years old, we canít shield him from the news.
It hurts to read the responses from the white residents that are so angry and seemingly racist. Their collective attitude seems to be that we are all savages and need to be dealt with in a brutal manner whatever the situation. The absolute power that they are willing to give the police is scary considering their attitudes towards black people as displayed on talk radio and columns like this.
It's not a race issue to me in this case, rather a V Amendment civil rights issue because without on-the-spot urine drug screening they had no idea he had drugs in his system. He had every right to be doing the things he was doing, although they are certainly not things I would choose, because legally, combativeness (and not even DUI) is not a crime punishable by death. The problem arises in any society when cops with absolute power start SKIPPING the judge and jury phase, opting to go directly to execution, with people of any race.
FIRST: The man had not committed a crime. He was ill or having ill effects of the drugs he ingested. The original call went out to 911. The EMS people called the mental health officer and left which was a fatal decision for Mr Jones. Even though he WAS under the influence, again it is not a crime punishable by death.
SECOND: The white community is sick and tired of cries of racism from Rev Lynch III and his ilk and rightfully so. He should be rallying against black-on-black crime instead of angering the police so they are all geeked up to hate us law abiding black people. He should be demanding funds for drug treatment centers so that men don't go crazy when they see a badge, especially after the city's past incidents. He should be demanding that the black community boycott the music industry that is perpetuating the problems in our communities by glamorizing thuggishness, lack of scholarship, "big pimpin'" and the hoochification of our young women.
THIRD: The black community should just accept the fact that race relations in Cincinnati are a lost cause until we get our own act together. Crying racism every single time something happens pollutes the waters when it REALLY does happen. When we see that the low-life thugs among us are the real enemy and quit supporting them when the police try to rid our streets of them our communities will be safer.
The constant cry of racism has the white community totally unsympathetic to the homicide of Mr Jones. While his murder shows gross negligence of EMS workers, poor communications between EMS and CPD, lack of CPD training and personnel, lack of human compassion and lots of undesirable behavior, I don't see it as racism. And even if it were, racism is not as big a problem for us as the white community rallying behind the absolute power of a maybe racist-maybe not police force.
Tracy James-Wallace, Loma Linda, Calif.
To the Jones family, our sympathy goes out to you. It's not easy losing someone, especially when it's resulting a police confrontation. I'm a former deputy, from Butler County, Ohio and Lincoln Heights police officer and a former resident of Cincinnati. I grew up in Over-the-Rhine and graduated from Taft High School in 1985. I've seen many things since I became a police officer. That video was shown nationwide. You have to realize that those officers had no idea that Mr. Jones was going to turn on them. I'm sure we didn't see everything on the tape, but it does show the officer with his hands up yelling commands to Mr. Jones, then you see Mr. Jones strike the officer.
Lots of people would say that we (police) are crazy to have this type of job that no one else wants. But, it's all about helping people no matter what RACE they are. I have several friends on the Cincinnati Police Division that are good officers and I feel that the public should look at all sides and not from the raw footage video. It's time for all people to come together and quit making a racial issues out of everything. We have bigger problems in this country.
To the police officers involved, we pray for you and your families as well. Stay safe and continue to serve and protect.
Greg Cody, Bartlett, Tenn.
As a lad growing up in Maysville, Ky. and spending a lot of time in Cincinnati with friends and relatives, I viewed the city as extemely prejudiced against blacks. I viewed law enforcement as running a quasi-police state. During my later years while living in Kalamazoo, I have spent a number of weekends in Cincinnati while attending baseball games, performing art events, museums, etc. I am now even more convinced that the Cincinnati police force is racially biased, with little respect for the civil rights of blacks, in particular.
Art Hearron, Kalamazoo, Mich.
My sympathies go out to the family of Nathaniel Jones and also to the black coalition leaders who actually believe that a 350-pound, drug-using criminal is such a fine role model to his children. I would hate to think who they consider a "poor role model." It's a shame his children are going to grow up thinking "My Daddy, the hero." Maybe Ken Lawson should include in his services the Chris Rock video "How Not to Get Beat by the Po-lice." I'm sure Ken Lawson is doing all these cases pro bono and not making a cent, all for the good people of "Little Detroit". What a joke!
Shelly Arthur, Naples, Fla.
I support the police 100%. I would not want to be a police officer for the city of Cincinnati. It's ridiculous the way the police are treated. I think way too much media coverage has been allocated to this story. I'm sick of all the sympathy that criminals get in this city.
Martha Paas, Wyoming
Why do the "black activists" only come out when the police are involved? Hundreds of blacks were killed on the streets by other blacks over the last several years in Cincinnati. Could it be that there is no political gain in dealing with the real problem?
I think the black leaders would be more effective if they dealt with the real problems (lack of family values--right from wrong--education, role models, etc.). Young black males are at a disadvantage, but the solutions must come from within. It is time to quit blaming the city or police for all of the problems. If Mr. Jones had not been wired on coke, he would still be alive.
Glen Davis, Covington
It all boils down to this: When a police officer tells you to do something, DO IT!
Tom Reiskamp, Delhi
To the family of Nathaniel Jones: My condolences for the death of this man.
To the police officers: My condolences on the affect that this will have on you for the rest of your lives.
To the issue of black deaths in Cincinnati: What is the ratio of "black versus black" and "white versus black" for all the homicides in Cincinnati?
To the news media: Show all the facts and let the system work its way through to the conclusion before you start showing only part of the facts.
The facts do speak for themselves that while Nathaniel was a "good and loving man and father," he did use drugs illegally and probably of his own free will. Therefore he placed himself on this path, not anyone else.
I don't think it would have mattered any more if he was white, black yellow or red. Nathaniel put himself in that situation, not anyone else.
Should we and could learn from this? Yes. Does the tape show everything? No. And since we cant see everything that is happening we cannot judge those individuals, unless we judge all people on the "supposed" truth that we "see."
So what happened that night was a man who was under the influence of drugs took it upon himself to fight with police and in so doing died in the struggle due to his general health and the combination of drugs that were in his system.
Nathaniel was black. Does that mean he was excused from his problems? No, that was just the color of his skin.
Tom S., Springfield Township
I've read most of the comments here on the Nathaniel Jones tragedy. I saw the video many times and the only thing the police did wrong was not to treat him after he was having severe breathing problems. Any time a person is told by the police to stop then you should stop, simple as that. Police are here for our protection, white or black. It seems to me this whole situation got started because he had illegal drugs in his body. I just get sick and tired of people blaming police for doing their job. Obey the law and there will be no problems.
Terry White, Goshen
It's unfortunate that it had to end up like it did. But let's move on now...and let the police do their job from now on...and when they say stop and put your hands behind your back, you should be smart enough to do it. But then again, you should be smart enough to not be on drugs either.
Chris Borke, Batavia
Although this was a tragic loss to his family, not all black people feel the same way as the boycotters. Where are the Black United Front, black clergymen, and our black community when it comes time to teach our black people to have respect for authority? When are our black people going to take responsibility for their own actions?
The situation should have never happened. However, Mr. Jones, just like Mr. Thomas and Mr. Owensby, escalated the situation when they resisted/eluded arrest. Let this be a lesson. The police are trained to protect us. They don't not have time for games or ignorance. I'm a mother of a teen black and I can't preach enough to my son that if he ever gets pulled over or confronted by police authority to conform with the law.
Krystle Wiley, Fairfield
Regardless of whether there is guilt or not on the part of the police and Jones himself, the barely concealed racial animus (mainly anti-black) being expressed on this forum says it all. Something stinks to high heaven in this city and sooner or later its going to boil over either as a spontaneous reaction or as instigated trouble from outsiders. The palpable bigotry that any non-cincinnatian senses here is NOT a figment of the black's imagination.
Other cities have racial problems too, but Cincinnati is fast becoming the definitive model of poor race relations within this nation. The question is, why is that? There is something here that goes beyond the disgruntled moaning of a few black miscontents and the rest of the nation knows this - even if the whites in this town and its suburbs are too pig-headed to realize it. Tell you what, though: P&G, etc. know and fear the potential fallout from the developing image of Cincinnati and they know that failing to fix the causes of legitimate racial discontent is going to eventually hurt this city big time.
Lastly, I see the New Black Panthers have now put in an appearance here - the further radicalizing of the minority community is continuing apace and things will be getting worse. Of course, bigoted public commentary from the likes of Bill Cunningham will continue to nurture the opposite effect within the majority. Cincinnati, you've got a problem and you are too stupid to realize it! I'm a temporary transplant and hope to be out of here with my family very soon, but I do pity you and the many fine citizens that I know reside here inspite of the all too common bigotry that liberally lace your segregated neighborhoods.
Nicolas Nivre, Mason
Shame on the Enquirer!
Nathaniel Jones is dead. Whose fault was it? Not the police officers who he attacked! No, Nathaniel Jones was responsible for his life, and the facts are that he was morbidly obese and used drugs, which in turn created heart problems. It was Nathaniel Jones who attacked the officers and refused to obey their orders and fought them every step of the way.
Now the Enquirer is taking the policitally correct (read: insane) route and have practically sainted Nathaniel Jones to appease a few snarling troublemakers like Rev. Damon Lynch and Malik Shabazz, who are going around town screaming racism, calling the April riots "righteous," and threatening more "civil unrest." All in the name of justice, of course.
Sure, Nathaniel Jones might have been a nice guy when he wasn't taking drugs, but in my book, he was a thug who attacked police officers.
The Enquirer should not have a position on this case -- writers should. The Enquirer should present the facts of the case, then present as many of their opinions as possible. But ultimately, it should be left to the readers to decide for themselves who is right and who is wrong without the Enquirer editorial staff influencing their decision-making process.
That, in short, is what's called being fair and balanced. It works for Fox News, it will work for the Cincinnati Enquirer.
George Combs II, Trenton
the real issue here is "THE DRUGS & OUR POLICE CHIEF." If these front-running preachers want to help the community, help stop the drugs and stop giving the wrong massage to these young people about how to deal with the police. Our police leaders should stay off Billy Cunningham's show on WLW 700 and LEARN HOW TO HOLD THEIR EMOTION. Our police leaders and city government will make this town a ghost town. There's not any real reason for outsiders to come here; fear and no business can't help.
Terrence Fairbanks, Sycamore Township
My deepest sympathies go out to your family. I have a few questions: Are Cincinnati police officers trained in CPR? Why was CPR not given when they seen he was not breathing? That is the issue I'm having.
Yes, Skip was wrong for attacking the police, but I think Skip's life could've been saved.
Michael Mercer, Springdale
I call for the so-called black leaders in the city of Cincinnati to resign! All of the leaders televised and heard on radio are nothing but racists themselves. They are the ones that dump garbage into the heads of the black urban community. Any time a white person does anything to a black person it's racial. But not vice versa.
Mr. Jones carried out a racially motivated attack on a police officer! I believe his words were "white boy, redneck" before he tried to take the officer's head off! Do we hear anything about that? No, of course not! Does it matter that the guy was overweight and high on coke and PCP? No, of course not! Does it matter that Mr. Jones commited a felony by swinging on a cop and grabbing his nightstick? No, of course not. Does it matter that the cop was clearly telling Mr. Jones to stay back and after his attack on the cop, to put his hands behind his back, which Mr. Jones refused to do? No, of course not! The only thing that matters is the cops were white and the felon was black!
I am also sick of hearing how nice and non-violent Mr. Jones was. We all clearly see on the tape that this is a lie! I don't care who you are, if you swing on a cop, prepare for the worst. And for those who say he was provoked to fight the officers, I'm sorry but "You gotta tell me what's going on" does not sound like provoking a person to me.
The so-called black leaders are money hungry, racist bigots who constantly play the race card whenever they want to. These morons need to be held accountable for the garbage they speak in the media. File defamation of character suits on these clowns and they will think twice about twisting stories and putting down the police department every time a black man breaks the law and pays the price.
Jeff Knott, Western Hills
I am not suprised that this has been turned into a racist situation, when in fact the films show the cause of death was sheer stupidity. When the police tell you to do something, you do it or you stand the chance of getting roughed up a little. If you attack them, you can expect a lot worse, regardless of your color. This has happened in all areas of the country, not just in the black areas of Cincinnati. But when you have a high crime area and nervous officers (both black and white) that are forced into a volatile situation, this is the end result.
I'm sure that the Black Panthers and the attorneys representing the family could see this, but the dollars signs will blind them and when they get their money, I bet they will move out of their troubled neighborhood. Get over it! He broke a number of laws before he attacked the officers (unprovoked), and if he had not been so doped up, he would not have but himself in this position.
Dean Taylor, Gainesville, Ga.
I think the focus should be on the altercation itself. Did the officers follow training guidelines? It sounds like they did go by current training agreed upon under the collaborative agreement. Even though difficult to watch, especially for the family, I don't believe there is an easy way to restrain an individual intoxicated on PCP, even if he were only 250 pounds. Side effects of that particular drug include violent behavior and a feeling of invincibility (according to the National Institute of Drug Abuse). Side effects also include large increases in blood pressure and pulse.
Is it responsible or kind to demonize either Mr. Jones or the police department? I don't believe so. I think it is just a tragic situation for all parties involved.
Lisa Atkinson, Anderson Township
The reason there is a split in behavior toward police is most of the community is raised to respect police authority and the government that is supported by the rule of law.
Those that incite others to assault police are guilty of murder, not the police that are defending themselves and attempting to arrest those that attack them.
Anyone who justifies assaults against the police by playing the race card is increasing the level of violence. For ministers and lawyers to be doing so is the height of irresponsibility. They are usurping power that they have not been able to acheive through constitutional means.
Each time this happens, our streets become more dangerous. We need more aggressive police enforcement, not the intimidation of anarchists that cause the police to withdraw. Remember what happened to the violent crime in this city after the Thomas incident?
Steve Schubart, Cincinnati
Any death is a shame. We just have to hope that friends, family, and the community can learn from every death. Unfortunately Iíve learned from this death that the African-American community still expects the rest of society to take responsibility for the actions of people who donít take responsibility for them selves.
Our society continues to except that a person can drink, take drugs, drive, injure others, and assaults officers, although guilty, is not responsible for his actions because alcohol or drugs made them do it. Had a Good Samaritan approached Mr. Jones to care for him and had Mr. Jones attacked them, his defense would have been argued by his attorney that he was under the influence and therefore not responsible for his actions.
Mr. Jones' death is a shame. But Mr. Jones took his drugs with out regard to their possible affect on him, his family, or our community. The wrongdoing here is not of the police officers that did their jobs exactly the way they were trained, but of the irresponsible Mr. Jones, who felt others should be responsible for him.
The police departments of this country can not effectively prevent crime until the communities open their eyes and say that we as individuals must take responsibility for our actions, and that the police department is not our babysitting service.
Tony Dick, Mariemont
In response to Sundayís article "Supervising firefighter was a sub," I would like to say that the chiefís cousin, James Wright, is correct when he says that maybe some cross training would help between the two departments. I was also disappointed that he didnít mention the need for more officers in the CFD.
I would also like to add that if Mr. Wright believes in building bridges, as the article states, then he should also be concerned with building bridges within his own home where a long rift in the CFD has been ongoing.
In the end, out of all that has been done and said, the words of a grandmother should ring the loudest for him to hear Ė "God didnít put you here to bicker and fight," she said, "He put you here to love one another."
Peter Deane, Anderson Township
To the Cincinnati community, regardless of what method was used to subdue Mr. Jones, be it, nightsticks, tasers, brute force, etc., the fact of the matter is, a black man was being roughed up by white cops. When people see this, it causes a reaction from certain sections of the community. So no matter how Mr. Jones was treated, the cops would never get a fair shake because in the minds of certain people still living in the past, it's white against black, plain and simple.
And all of these so-called community leaders that say "They should have done this..." or "They should have done that..." have no idea what it is like to try and subdue a person, laced with drugs, of his size. I'm relatively new to this city, but people here need to get a clue.
Mark Sanders, Cincinnati
This is not a racial matter. It is not about if they police did or didn't follow procedures. They did, in my opinion. This is about drugs. We need to stop the drug trafficking and get the dealers. In my opinion, this would have never happened if he wasn't on drugs. The police did their job. They put their lives on the line every single day. I watched the video and it is very clear that this Mr. Jones was totally out of control. Whether he is normally not like that is moot. He was on drugs and causing chaos and putting policemen's lives in danger.
As for the members of City Council that attended his funeral, I am wondering if they will attend any other civilian funerals in the near future. I think it is wrong that they showed up. It is a family matter. If they are trying to prove something, they did. They looked stupid. My prayers go out to the Jones' family and I am very sorry about their loss.
Kathy Schmerr-Luebbering, Bridgetown
My condolences to the family.
Again, AN UNARMED AFRICAN-AMERICAN MAN DEAD. What looked to me being calm when the police got there. So what provoked Mr. Jones? Could it have been a remark that the police said to him that made him come after them? PROBABLY, but that's something that we won't find out.
Come on, Cincinnati; how can you call this one of the most favorable city to raise a family; that's a joke.
How come the police don't know CPR? A few pushes on someone's chest won't revive anybody.
I pray that WE DO BETTER IN CINCINNATI that we don't live not in so much fear. I felt this way when I used to visit Detroit, Cleveland and Chicago. Living in Cincinnati is like living in the WILD WILD WEST! WE NEED SOLUTIONS BECAUSE WE HAVE A LOT OF PROBLEMS HERE!
K. Jones, Forest Park
I do not like the violence our city suffers. The simple point is, all 18 who have died in confronntations with the police would still be alive today if they had just submitted to the police orders. When an officer says get on the ground and put your hands behind your back, you do not throw a brick, rush with a knife, struggle for the officer's gun, throw punches. You submit to the authority of the police officer. This would be a step towards peace.
Don Franklin, Withamsville
Sad, sad, sad. Not once during all the coverage this weekend did anyone -- family members, ministers, "civil rights activists," protesters, etc. -- mention the key root cause of what happened to Nathaniel Jones -- drug abuse. Tom Jones said it Friday, and it was barely a blip on the radar screen because Tom Jones, a man of integrity, logic and reason has been declared an "Uncle Tom" and a sellout by those who have a vested interest in keeping "their own people" in an oppressed state.
If Nathaniel Jones' family and the rest of the noisemakers who gathered at District One over the weekend wanted to do something constructive, they would go to Cleveland and look around Cincinnati for the individual or individuals who sold Nathaniel Jones the drugs he was using that awful Sunday morning.
The perpetuation of ignorance and denial in this situation is staggering. People like Damon Lynch claim Cincinnati doesn't need "outsiders" messing in their business, and then they team up with the New Black Panther Party -- certainly a stabilizing force if there ever was one -- to come to town and spew their venom for all to hear.
I found it interesting to hear that WCPO noted, during their 6 p.m. and 11 p.m. broadcasts on Sunday, that not many residents of Over The Rhine participated in the protest march through the area. The majority of the noisemakers were "outsiders." WCPO included a quote from a young man who essentially said there were enough problems in Over The Rhine that he didn't have time to waste marching around with the noisemakers. Enough said.
Kevin Kennedy, Dillsboro, Ind.
To the Jones family: I am so sorry that you were put through this grief and pain. The way Nathan was described in the news by friends, he was a person I would have liked to meet. To the police: It was wrong the way to handle the sitution. I think in my heart and soul it was racism involved. To the Cincinnati community: Keep your head up and stay strong for the children in the community.
Tyrhonda Thompson, Rome
It's a shame that he died, however, the police did nothing wrong. The police were doing their job. I commend them for following procedure considering Jones did not listen and follow orders. When the police tell you to stop, or put your hands behind your back, that is what you should do. I feel the police are getting a bad rap again, because of the criminal element, and that is not fair to them. Criminals need a stiffer punishment through our courts and maybe someday the criminals will get it through their thick skulls that they need to change their ways and obey the law. I hope the civil case is thrown out of the court of law so that future criminals will realize that they will be punished for the crimes they commit. Right away, they run to Ken Lawson for representation to live the rest of their life off of the money they receive through lawsuits. That needs to stop also. Jones deserved what he got. How else was the police supposed to control a 350-pound man on drugs and out of control? God bless the police and keep them safe from harm.
Ida Mae, Price Hills
My DEEPEST sympathies to all those who knew Nathaniel Jones and especially to his family.
I have been following this case since Monday evening when I first saw a broadcast on my local (New York) TV.
I am very saddened by what happened. The various videos of Skippy's beating is awefully painful for me to watch.
As for the CPD officers, I strongly feel (possibly a premature conclusion) that they did indeed do their job. They probably did follow protocol. Is there a better protocol? Maybe Police departments accross the nation need to think long and hard about their policies and procedures currently in place. Are we a barbaric society? Are we moving backwards on the timeline? Do we, as a society, not want to move forward? Does there not exist any other method(s) to restrain/control persons exhibiting so-called inappropriate physical behavior?
I have to belieive that there IS a better way for the CPD (and even for the New York PD) to better restrain/control people.
In summary, I am hoping the people of Cincinnati as well as the rest of the country can learn from this experience - and work towards a positive outcome. I do not think that any one person or one group will solve this problem overnight. The Mayor and the Police Chief, however, should at the very least commit to initiating a "fix" to this issue.
Dom Dom, Bronx, N.Y.
He attacked a police officer - period. White, Black, Indian, whatever, he chose to attack a member of society that is sworn to protect us. The police acted responsible. The outcome was the victim's choice.
Jim Piwarun, Mason
First off, I would like to send my condolences to the family of Nathaniel Jones. But in my conclusion, after viewing all the video and the news that if Nathaniel Jones would have just not fought with the brave men of Cincinnati's Fourth District that it would have turned out different. And to conclude I would like to thank our courageous police department in their effort to keep the streets safe.
Russell Hamer, Cincinnati
First let me say that is must be awful to be seeing your father/husband die in such a way and in such a condition, but it is really awful for a father to be acting this way in front of his family and on national tv. A man out of control as Mr. Jones was that night and high on drugs had to be brought under control, if he respected the authority of the police he would have obeyed the officers plea to stop. I am not sure of the audio because it was not that clear to me, but I thought that Mr. Jones said something about "you white ..." which if so would make him the one with the racial attitude. I do have to admit that even if he had it coming that there seemed to be one too many jabs with the night stick- even though that probably was not what killed Mr. Jones. His condition -over sized heart and being way over weight and all the drugs that was in him probably did him in. It is a shame that the black community and the the boycott coilition and especially the NCCAP are so blind and racist in their own way that they are unable to lead their people forward. They say that the first step to recovery in any desease or addiction is to get rid of the denial - admit that they have a problem and deal with it. Lead their people to the promise land as Mr King said 40 years ago - if there ever was a time to be able to do that it is in todays world. You know that there are problem peolpe with every race, whites and blacks alike, you are going to have these situations arise with both groups and yes they should be investigated to make sure that no one Killed this man on this night or any night, but you cant stand there and threaten to boycot and riot just because it happened - If this man or any man white or black was out in public high as this man was then eventually you know it will come down to some situation. I know that there are proper proceedures in these situations and I am not sure what they are but it would be nice to see a little more consideration from the police dept. instead of the forcible ones that they commit to. It would be nice to see an understanding police officer instead of the walk-the-line and brut force type. I know that drugs make a person in-coherent and sometimes that is the only alternative. But if there is no gun involved and they have other officers there. why cant they proceed with a little more-subdued approach or less violent one. Being a police officer at night in areas of high crime and drugs i guess can pre condition a response after awhile, maybe the police if they are not doing this already should rotate officers frequently so they dont get this pre conditional attitude.
Jack Miller, Alexandria, Ky.
The only person responsible for the death of Nathaniel Jones is Nathaniel Jones. He was a user of illegal drugs. He was in poor shape because he did not care enough about his health to make better choices. He also attacked police officers. If he was not a violent criminal before, he certainly was a violent criminal in his last hour of life as was proven by the video tape of the incident. The police did their job properly without regard to race and/or prejudice. Those officers involved deserve the praise of the community for going out to do the tough jobs that lead to a safer environment. Those professional liars, race agitators, and ambulance chasers that want to turn the truth of this matter on its ear and find fault with the police and fire departments need to be driven out of town on a rail.
Matt Briedis, Withamsville
I think one area that needs to be adressed is. He was a heavey man That I wonder if he was even cappabel of laying face down or even putting his hands behind his back. And it seems to me the tape shows him stuggeling to get up. I wonder if this was due to the formentioned. I think more times than not Police fail to take persons physical restrictions under consideration! And looking at the tape from a heavy persons side. I feel the cops were at fault! And he was treated cruely! I cant think of to many heavy people his size capable of laying down on there stomach that wouldnt struggel to get up to breath and such. I think this has to be considered!
Kim Fisher, Delhi
This isn't an issue in white communities, because most parents raise their children to respect law and order. As a youngster I recall the police being a powerful force that was to be respected, feared if doing wrong and a rescuer. The issue everyone needs to bring out is "Why is a grown man not a child mind you attacking the police for an unjust reason". This man if alive should be shamed in front of the public and ostracized, just like they did in communities throughout history. Sometimes society got things right and change isn't better.
Blake Weyrich, Clifton Heights
I grew up in Cincinnati, I've lived in Chicago, Indianapolis,Washington, D.C., served in the military abroad and I've seen my more than fair share of police enforcement. I live in Cleveland, a city that is going to fire nearly 300 police officers friday, and based on what I've known for decades about the Cincinnati police I would take my chances with a burglar entering my home in Cleveland, than to engage in a contradictory assertment with a Cincinnati Police Officer. If a burglar does harm to the victim he is tried, convicted, and punished if a person has a contradictory assertment with a Cincinnati police Officer rest assured that you will catch a "beatdown", and I'm not looking at the Jones case with blinders on. I saw a clear need for police presence, the behavior of Mr.Jones was abnormal, coupled with his size could be downright scary, but what I didn't see in this case, or in the Owensby case, or the Wilder case, or ANY CASE that involves NON-WHITES in the city Cincinnati and it's police department is restraint.
For all I know the death of Mr. Jones could be justified, but there has been a clear willingness for years to use deadly force on unarmed african-american men at the hands of the Cincinnati Police.
P.S. no relation to the victim
Billy Jones, Jr., Cleveland
After reviewing the video tape many times, and being in similar situations many times in my 15 year law enforcement career, I would have to side with the Police in this situation. Officer safety would have to be priority! It is NOT a racial incident, it is an Officer Safety issue. This large man was acting out on the officers in a very aggressive way.
Dan Rutledge, Iowa
I'm sick of hearing about how he was a nice father of two kids and wouldn't hurt a fly. The guy was on Cocaine and PCP. He was using drugs. They are illegal. He was asked to stop resisting. HE chose to fight the police. You can say whatever you want about him. He was still breaking the law by not only using drugs, but possessing them, being publically intoxicated, and resisting arresting. He made his own choices and his family shouldn't be looking elsewhere for blame. Blame the man who did the crime.
Kevin Keely, Detroit, Mich.
It's a sad commentary on the black community that they play the race card and claim that the death of a over drugged, obese, black man with a heart condition was a racial incident. This man chose to ingest drugs that made him combative and he also chose to fight the arresting oficers. Black community leaders should stand up and say that the police did what thay had to do to protect themselves and the community. If this had been a white man subdued by a group of black officers, not one condemnation would have been expressed.I say to the blacks that are so eager to express outrage that you need to look past your prejudice, and accept the truth that drugs were the proven cause.
Jay Phillips, Tulsa, Okla.
I am sincerely sorry for the children of Nathaniel Jones, his parents, and others close to him. I offer my sympathies.
I am saddened that another member of the community had to lose his life in this manner. I am saddened that members of our black community feel as if encounters with police must describe a mortal battle. Nathaniel's behavior was not just that of someone under the influence of drugs, but someone who was very afraid of the police- terrified enough to destroy himself. I am sorry that this incident is not just another news blip in Cincinnati, but another tragedy that cements a consciousness of indignance and fear for black Cincinnatians. It is not exactly what happened that is so dishonoring; the behavior of the officers was mostly by the book. I would go so far as to say that anyone with the means to defend themselves would also use a stick- against an attacker literally double in size to them.
And it is not surprising that Nathaniel did not make it through the encounter, given his health condition, and apparent use of stimulants. Anyone that viewed the videotaped arrest sequence knows that Nathaniel did not die from baton blows.
But it is not the particulars of the officers' conduct on Sunday morning that will leave a lasting emotional effect on the community. It is the fact that the suspect died, and he happened to be black. Again.
The arresting officers of Nathaniel Jones are not responsible for all of the misconduct of Cincinnati Police officers before them, and neither am I. It is not fair that when I walk down populated streets, or enter an establishment in many Cincinnati neighborhoods, that I sense skepticism and sometimes even combativeness, because I happen to be a tall, broad, fair, white male. It is a drag that some people carelessly treat me in a manner that only eludes to their expectations- of what I symbolize. It just happens to be that way.
It is hard for most white people to accept criticism from minortities that identify them as white- or talk candidly about white behaviors. Much of it feels unfair. Often, it seems, it is altogether true. Most white Cincinnatians share a notion that African Americans should at least be treated equally. After all, it is not "us" that are the bad white people, it is "them". It's the rednecks, it's the KKK, it's the bad cops. It's them.
History says; public lynchings, condoned by law enforcement agencies occurred as recently as forty years ago in this part of the country. Those hung just happened to be black men. Those that did nothing happened to be all of us. But it was not our fault. Cincinnati has a high rate of murder for black males killed by other black males. It is not our fault. Our black community is hurt and angry. Again, it is not our fault. Our black community perceives that we, as whites do not care how they feel. It is not our fault.
Dan Wohlslagel, Clifton
My thoughts are that if a police man says stop then you stop. I am so sick of hearing how bad the black people in Cincinnati are treated. If you think you would be treated better elsewhere then move there. Also if any of these incidents involved a white man and black cop the stories would all be different. They would then say that the cop was 100% in the right but since it is only when it is a white cop and a black person have a problem do we hear how it is racist. Just get over it and obey the law white or black. Stop making every thing that happens a race issue. We all have laws to follow like it or not so just follow them or dont get caught and if you do then take what ever consicences that come your way.
Kelly Spencer, Colerain
My sympathies at the loss of your son. I am also looking at it from the police's view. Nathaniel was viewed as "gentle" . The Police do not know that. They have a job where they must constantly be on the lookout and the orders they give: "Stay down", "hands behind your back" are for their protection. When someone does not comply with the orders, they are perceived as a threat.
Michael Kelley, Norfolk, Va.
Looks to me from what I saw in the video that the only racist was Jones. He was the one caling the Officers' white boys and rednecks, two racist remarks. As for the family saying he never was mean or didn't hurt anyone, does that include even when he was high on PCP? Looks to me like he struck the Officers' in the head and fought with them before they proceeded to escalate their use of force. People act differently under the influence of intoxicants, especialy PCP, than they normally act. Maybe when he was not under the influence around his family, he was a nice guy, but he clearly escalated this situation by fighting the Officers' attempts to arrest him. Just because a black man attempts to fight the police for no reason and loses does not make the Police Officers' racist. It means that Jones made a poor decision while intoxicated that cost him his life.
D. Burks, Columbus
Everyone keeps asking what's it going to take to stop the senceless death of black men in this city. The answer is to obey the law. Don't engage in fighting and running from the police. If a 350lb man is coming at me I would have to seriously think about shooting him. Finnish school, Get a job and abide by the laws of this country. You won't be beaten by the police for no reason. Please open your eyes and stop blaming everyone but yourself.
Dean Joseph, Fairfield
You can't just sit around saying this was an innocent man beaten to death. The fact is, he was getting violent, and even lunged at the officers. If a 350 pound man did that to me, I would do the exact same thing. Especially if he were under the influence of drugs. Is it a shame he had to die? Yes. But, the black special-interest groups can't blame white people for this one. Sorry Jesse, Al, et al.
Gregory Blosser, Endicott, N.Y.
I am sick and tired of hearing how the Cincinnati Police Department is racist and is killing blacks. If the blacks that are having trouble with the police would simply follow simple instructions, ie: put your hands behind your back; the majority of problems would not be happening. According to US Bureau of Justice statistics, Blacks make up 45 percent of prison inmates, whites account for 34 percent and 18 percent of inmates are Hispanic. How is this possible considering that only 11.4% of Ohioans are black? Could it be that Cincinnati police officiers have these issues because the 11.4% of the population are commiting 45% of the crimes. Or are 45% of the inmates innocent and mistreated. Race is a convenient way for some people to try and avoid being held accountable for their criminal actions.
The policemen in this country put their lives on the line every day in ways most of us couldn't begin to imagine. They go into areas, the rest of us want to pretend don't exist. No matter what they do they get criticized. If they arrest criminals, they use too much force or framed someone. If they arrest no one, they are derelict in their duties. Everybody hates the police until they need them. Most people could care less what actions a policeman takes when it comes to a crime that has been committed against them. I would like to see Ken Lawson and how he acted if he had a crime commited against him or his family.
As for Nathaniel Jones, if I had a 5'8", 350 lb,. drugged out man swinging at me, he would get hit with a nightstick or whatever I had handy to get him off me. The policemen on that tape did not look like they were enjoying themselves; they looked like they were fighting for their lives. Nathaniel Jones died because he was grossly obese and was a drug user. PCP, cocaine and methanol are not recreational drugs.
There is an old saying that rings true in these situations. Don't critcize a man until you have walked a mile in his shoes. I suggest that the critics of the Cincinnati Police Department, practice this and try handling a 350 lb intoxicated man and see how well they fare.
Keli Oelerich, Covington
It is a cover up for the racist activity happening in the police dept and city hall. Why rush to show the officers blameless unless there is something to hide.
This has happened all to often. People of color are not safe in Cincinnati. It is time to hold city hall accountable. A clear message needs to be sent. All peoples of color and their friends all over the country need to decend on Cincinnati and show our support love for our fellow human beings. I for one am headed for your part of the world to show support.
Henry Clingaman, Puyallup, Wash.
I work with the chronically mentally ill who sometimes become aggressive. As I watched the store video of this individual it resembled the pts. I often assess in emergency situations. I strongly urge the Cinn. Policy makers to train your Police Dept. and the officers to better handle situations like this. Often the people are not oriented to reality...and are freightened and act out in fear. This is truely a mistake by those with the weapons and manpower. I pray for all of you. For your community and for the family.
Pamela Davis, Springfield, Ohio
My condolence to the family of Nathaniel Jones. Feeling the pain of a loss love one is something I have experienced before, but I cannot imagine feeling the pain of a love one loss at the hands of the police. My heart and prayers go out to the Jones's family.
To the police, if you are trained to destroy the life of every black man you come cross when they are unarmed, then you are on the wrong team. I realized you have a responsibility to protect our community. However, I find you more troubling then any human being on the street including a thug. How is our children going to believe in a police officer who is suppose to protect our community, yet he destroy the life of a black man without a second thought. This terrible ordeal concerns me about my own son. I will have to teach him how to handle you if you ever attempt to approach him for whatever reason. The way I see things as of this point is that you are out to destroy every black man that hit the streets. I only pray that my son will never be a victim. Most of you police officers who are not genuine need to turn in your badge, gun and uniform because you are a disgrace to our human race. You will answer to the Almighty God...you can count on it.
To our Cincinnati Community...We have to pull ourselves together and ask ourselves how are we going to gather our community to make it a safer place. Each of us have a responsibility to protect our community. At the very least, we must pray daily and ask God for guidance, talk to our children and encourage them to stay out of trouble. Everyday our children are dying either at the hands of one another or the police force. As much as I love my native home, I am ashame to say that I am from Cincinnati. However, I desire to assist in bringing our community together to make it a safer place...nonetheless, I cannot do it alone. We as a village of people must make a effort.
For God so love the world that he gave his only begotten Son so whosoever believeth in him shall have everlasting life. Jesus died so that we can have life to the fullest. Now we have to make a sacrifice as Jesus did.
Lettie Reid, Indianapolis (formerly of Cincinnati)
It is very tragic that this gentleman's life was ended in this horrible way, and my heart goes out to his friends and family in this time of grief. That being true, I do not believe for one second that the police officers acted inappropriately in any way. This man was obviously very dangerous, and the police officers responded to the call and took the necessary action. I hope that the community can stand behind the brave men that keep our city safe instead of making them feel like they are criminals for doing their job.
Robin Kramer, Edgewood, Ky.
I pray for the families healing and strength.
I commend the police officers for a job well done. For one it could have been the other way around. If that guy Nathaniel would have taken one of the officers guns and shot up the officers along with the White Castle employees, then everyone would say the police failed to do there jobs in protecting the citizens. Nathaniel caused the struggle. I have watched that video time after time and I just don't see where the police were wrong.
They did everything they can to defend themselves. As you can see on the video them two officers were being thrown all over that parking lot. They could have shot him but didn't. Especially when he charged them. Anyone would have struggled with him, most likely he would have been shot. The police are human, they have feelings, they get scared. I think this whole racial mess is being blown out of proportion. Yes there have been excessive force, uncalled for shootings of black people and I'm all for the investigation for that. But what happened Sunday its ridiculous some people are cryng excessive force. I'm a black also, I grew up Baptist I'm still Baptist and this Fred Shuttleworth along with the other black pastors need to get in there place and preach to our black drugged out men/women and try to help get them turned around into the right direction. Instead they wait until something devasting happens to react. It's embarrassing to me to see such negativity from the churches. When all the police was doing is their job and I think they done a great job and should very much be commended for their actions. Even though things turned out the way they did, if Nathaniel would have just done what he was asked to do no struggle would have taken place and he would be here today.
Ewell Shelby, Elsmere, Ky.
This is a question for Nathaniel Jones' family, and attorney Ken Lawson.
If I have been informed correctly, Nathaniel's mother has passed on, but, why did his father not attend the press conference?
I would think that that would had helped.
Deriel Lance, Springdale
Family - Sorry, your son attacked a police officer; was an obese man with an enlarged heart; under the influence of what appears to have been three different drugs, all of which have been known to cause violent and erratic behavior. Regardless of his past, he was clearly violent at the moment of his death. I would venture to guess that the same man would have died had he tried to play a basketball game. Any physical exertion was a bit too much for this overstimulated man.
Police- It doesn't look nearly as bad as everyone is making it out to look. If a man takes a swing at a man with a badge, the assailant should clearly be arrested. Budget concerns aside, I would have like to seen the 90 seconds of video from the arrival of the cruiser and the re-record. It could have (assuming everything was legit before the taping started) cleared up this whole mess.
Police Brass - I haven't read about any White Castle cameras, nor have we seen any footage publicly from the other cruisers present on the scene. Might be interesting to see them.
Fire Department - Leave? Back off, sure, but what made you leave the scene? wouldn't standing back 50 or 100 or 200 feet have been sufficient? What about locking yourselves inside the vehicle? Did your personnel actually drive away?
Community at large - Just because one man died unjustly at the hands of a mistaken (not murderous) police officer two or three years ago, doesn't mean that every time police officers are involved in a black man's death its the cop's fault. Get over yourselves. Pray all you want, conduct all of the independent investigations you want, but keep your mouth shut and out of the press until you have something to report. For all I care, invite the Department of Justice back in and see what they turn up. Don't fan the flames until you have legitimate cause to do so.
Kevin Donnelly, Dayton
After viewing the videotape from fox19 website, I would like to know how is it that these "so called" trained offcials did not recognize that he had stopped breathing and when they did, they did NOTHING for at least 3-4 minutes, which had tey started CPR at the appropriate time, it could have saved his life! The fact that a police officer brought out the AED and didn't even attatch it to him, and obviously didn't know what to do with it! This AED if hooked up to him probably would have indicated shocks to be delivered in order to save his life! What good was CPR after 4 minutes of staring at eachother obviously dumbfounded as to what to do next......TRAINED people ...? I am very outraged that proper procedure was not followed thorugh with considering the training they are supposed to receive regarding CPR and the AED. In addition to that CPR isn't very effective without breaths......what happened there? Are there no face masks in police cars, but you provide an AED, which they didn't know how to use or chose not to. I am an Emergency Room nurse at a local hospital and they did not in the least follow any TRAINING that I have known. Should they have defended themselves, probably, but to leave this man on the ground lifeless without an attempt to help him until 4 minutes later was very futile as obviously detailed with his untimely death!
Roselin Roland, Cincinnati
Nathaniel Jones was a "big lovable man", and he was "never violent", and "good to his children" the family says. Yet they can't explain why he had cocaine, pcp and methanol in his system and why he had the need for some White Castle sliders early in the morning. Apparently it's OK for one to be high and get in a car for a food run, make a scene at a restaurant, have the employees call for help, have him be unruly enough that the fire department calls for more help and then when the police arrive stumble towards the officers and swing at them. All of that is OK. Apparently the police needed to call some family members to find out that this tweaked out dude was harmless. "This wasn't him" the family says. Really? Who was it? After being messed up enough to get hungry, drive intoxicated and smoke some cigs dipped in methanol he then takes on the fire department and the police. This obviously wasn't the big man who "was loveable" and "never violent". No, obviously this is the cops fault for stopping an overweight and overly intoxicated man from making a bad fast food judgement. They should have just let him go. They should have let him drive the car he obviously forgot was there home. Yep, that would have been the prudent plan. Who cares if your jacked up on drugs? Who cares if you could killed someone in an auto accident or stumbled around whacked out of your skull? The White Castle employees obviously made a bad judgement call on this one. They should have just let him sleep in the grass until morning. Here's a shocking bit of news for everyone, not just blacks, but everyone in the community: If your trippin and suddenly get and urge for some grease stay home. Don't get in your car. Don't light up a cancer stick dipped in meth. Don't go to White Castles. Don't pass out in the grass at White Castles. Don't give the fire department who shows up because the employees called a hard time and don't go stumbling and swinging towards the police when they ask "what's wrong?". If you want to be a "big, loveable" drug user with hunger pangs then stay home and pop something in the microwave.
Geoff Gulley, Prospect Hill
Once a 350 pound guy attacks a cop by the head....the cops by law have the right to use force to effect an arrest. He resisted an arrest, and committed a felony assault. He died because he had an enlarged heart, coke, PCP and an embalming fluid in him.
And the family said he was a "Teddy Bear.".....Sure and Im the tooth fairy.
Dan Curry, Cincinnati
I feel that this whole situation is a shame and that the Cincinnati Police Department should take a serious look a what they consider to be "necessary force." We all know that he struck a police officer, we know that he had cocaine and PCP in his system but we don't know why he was laying on the pavement without medical attention for that long. This is a giant step backwards in the struggle to bring the city and the police force together. We all want to know what the city is going to do next to diffuse this situation.
Jermil Tarver, Roselawn
I can't believe that a issue is being made over all this. Why is it that every time a black citizen dies as a result of their own behavior that certain black leaders claim it only happened because of their skin color. Plenty of white citizens get beat by the police too, people don't complain about that because just as Mr Jones, they deserved to get beat. He committed a felony by assalting the police and then wanted to resist arrest and fight. I understand drugs had something to do with his behavior but that doesn't mean he should get a free pass on assault and should just be allowed to do what he wants. Any other person, white included, would have gotten the same beating he did and would have deserved it. His death is due to his heart disease not the beating. Its very similar to when athletes in the past died playing a sport and later it was found they had used cocaine. When stimulants are used and heart disease is present, an increase in heart rate or adrenalin could and will cause a heart attack. His health problems are not the responsibility of the police. Maybe Mr. Jones should have thought about all that before he engaged police in a fight. I'm sure he had been warned of his heart problems many times, an yet he still used stimulant drugs. His lifestyle is responsible for his death, it just so happens that while he was attacking police officers he pushed his diseased heart too far.
Tammy Schmidt, Fairfield
The police are trained to protect the public and that is what they were doing. If he would not have resisted he would probably be here today. Why do people make this seem like the police were at fault. No one is happy that the man died . He chose to swing at the officer and that unfortunatly cost him his life. The police need to be backed for doing their jobs, not put on display.
Lynn Howard, Cedarville
The Cincinnati community needs to take a step back and catch their breath. This is a unfortunate incident but policing is a very difficult job. It is time that all individuals of all race accept responsibility for their actions. Mr. Jones was under the influence of a number of drugs and assaulted police officers. The duty of a police officer is to protect and serve the community. How many police officers have died in the line of duty while trying to arrest a suspect who has commited a felony offense of assault? The media never tells this side of the story. We cannot fault officers for doing their job and following training that is consistent with many policing standards across the country. Many of us work in professions that are safe and you have the reassurance to go back to your families at the end of the day. For a police officer this is not always the case.
Mike Finley, Charleston, S.C.
The Cincinnati Police jurisdiction is within the city limits. Within the city limits, the population is predominately African-American. Cincinnati Police Officers are predominately Caucasian.
Therefore, percentage of arrests ae going to be African-American. Percentage of police making the arrests are going to be white.
Now it seems to me that the 'racial profiling' rule is mis-interpreted by some African-Americans. This does not give them the right to resist arrest, so they can yell it is racial. Generally the person resisting has a lenghthy record, Then the news media and Black Coalition seem to strive to side with the criminal. The name of the game is 'protect the 'bad criminals' and go against the police who are protecting the citizens. Subjects under influence of hard drugs can be extremely violent and possess immense strength.Perhaps next time police encounter a person who is combative ,they should call Damon Lynch, Nate Livingston or Ken Lawson to arrest and handcuff the subject
Jean Myers, East Price Hill
I support the police 100%. I don't know why the black community continues to blame the police when these things happen. The black community and black leaders need to address the real issue of disrespect for authority.
Patty Tierney, Greenhills
What should the police officers have done with Nathaniel Jones? Try to talk him down while he grabs their weapon and shoots them or an innocent bystander? Wait until he breaks their arm or neck?
If it had been an obese, unhealthy, drug riddled white man (or blue or green or purple, for that matter) attacking black policemen at 6 am, I would say the same thing as I am now. (Jones) put himself in a very, very dangerous and life threatening situation and the cops need to do whatever it takes to control him.
Scott Malone, Symmes Township
As tragic as any death can be, my sympathy goes out to the family but we can't loose sight of the fact that a grown "man" black or white, didn't follow the orders of police when told to do so and then struck a police officer in attempt to cause physical harm and continued until the police got him under control. They did what they were trained to do. Just like anyone else, the police reacted in a manner to defend themselves at what ever cost. So my final comment is to the whining few in the community and around the nation especially the naacp, this is not a black and whie thing, so quit trying to stir the community into rioting and blaming it on the police. They did there job.
Charles Hudson, St. Bernard
It's utterly amazing how EVERYTHING is turned into a race issue. BOTTOM LINE, if the guy was not under the influence of drugs etc...NONE of this would have happened! So now you need to decide where to place the blame (and it should not be on the police). Don't do drugs, listen to law enforcement and you should not have any problems. HUMMM sounds pretty simple doesn't it?!
J. Zins, Cincinnati
Do we know how many white people have died in police confrontations since 1995? Let's compare apples to apples as an alternative to making this is a race issue. We all saw Nathaniel Jones shout at the White Castle employees and then act particularly bizarre outside the store. We all saw Nathaniel Jones battle with the police officers, including one African-American officer. I'm certain that there are some prejudiced police officers just as there are prejudices everywhere whites against blacks, blacks against whites, and so on and so forth, but the police are there to protect us no matter what our race is. We just have to trust that's what they will do to the best of their ability. Several experts have said that the way the officers handled the situation was "textbook". The coroner stated that no internal organs were bruised and the bruises we isolated below the waist.
I'm not sure exactly what some of the people of Cincinnati expect police officers to do. Put yourself in their shoes, if you were hit by a 342-pound man, what would you do? Their job is to detain the belligerent individual. I'm sure they didn't deliberately take the life Mr. Jones. I personally hope that the officers have no disciplinary action taken against them. I also hope that there is no more rioting! The city needs to come together and forget about the fact that Nathaniel Jones was black. We need to realize that he caused a disturbance which led to the police struggle, which contributed to his death. I understand that Mr. Jones may have been a soft heart whom was lovingly nicknamed "Skippy," so had he not been intoxicated, this may not have happened, but whose fault is that Nathaniel Jones was intoxicated?
Annette Bolmer, Northern Kentucky
This being turned into another race issue is crazy. It doesnt matter what race you are if you attack an officer bad things are going to happen.
People need to start taking responsibility for there actions instead of always playing the race card white or black or any race. The media creates the tension (race issues). I am always downtown and I always have a great time.
The media is the problem, not the police or community -- the media. In my opinion the media caused the riots, not the shooting of an unarmed black man -- the media.
Pete Jenkins, Cincinnati
While I sympathize with the families of Nathaniel Jones and Timothy Thomas for their losses, I don't understand why there is such an outrage and outcry against the police department or the mayor.
In both instances, the suspects were told time and time again to stop or stay back. We were all taught from a young age that when the police tell you to do something, you do it. In the case of Nathaniel Jones, he was the agressor (as the tape shows). The police officers warned him to stay back and he did not comply. Not only did he not comply, he proceeded to attack the officers and repeatedly disregarded the ongoing orders to cease and desist. Only then did the officer's use force (to protect themselves). Timothy Thomas ran down a dark alley after repeatedly being told to stop. He didn't comply and unfortunately paid the price for it. I truly believe in both of these cases, had the suspects complied with officers from the beginning, the outcomes of both these situations may have had a greatly different outcome.
Robert Wilzbach, Colerain
The first question one has to ask is, why was Mr. Jones doing cocaine and PCP in the first place? The first fact that one has to look at is that any exercise or overexertion that Mr. Jones did could have killed him. It is a well-known fact that cocaine and or PCP alone can have a lethal effect on a body, with the added weight Mr. Jones was a heart attack waiting to happen. Mr. Jones attacked a police officer and an altercation ensued. If Mr. Jones would have attacked a civilian in this manner and the civilian would have shot him, it would have been justifiably homicide. The blacks of Cincinnati need to look at the facts, start cleaning up their own neighborhood, teaching their children to be responsible and stop crying foul every time some drug addict dies.
Let us look at the real cause: Mr. Jones on drugs. Mr. Jones killed himself.
Chris Matheny, Winston-Salem, N.C.
Our country has become a nation of victims. Nathaniel Jones was a victim of drugs and poor health habits. His family, appearing as victims, have a right to answers. However, they better be prepared to accept part of the root cause of this incident. The city of Cincinnati and the entire metropolitan area are victims to the perpetual mistrust of its citizens towards the people sworn to uphold the law. The police are victims to prior bad decisions and to people who do not want to take responsibility in their own lives. Can this city move forward? You are your own worst enemies. Is anyone in the police force and black community trying to eradicate this victimization? Are you truly committed to finding a solution rather than just pointing fingers?
Dennis Raybuck, San Francisco
The Cincinnati Enquirer should be ashamed, making the police and the city look like the bad guys. It was not the police on PCP or cocaine. It was Mr. Jones.
Everyone knows that cocaine causes heart problems over time.
In all likelihood the cocaine had much more to do with his death than the police.
Shame on the Enquirer for making him seem so innocent and good.
If he was such a good and upstanding citizen, why did he lunge at police and why was he taking PCP and cocaine?
While it is unfortunate, it is certainly not the police officers' fault for defending themselves against this man.
David Silvieus, West Chester
While Nathaniel Jones was obviously confrontational, the police were not refraining from using excessive force. However, the culmination of events cannot be, in whole, the responsibility of either party.
For several years, those with personal agendas, names like Damon Lynch III and Nate Livingston come to mind, exploit tragedies that occur. Moreover, many African-American Cincinnatian emotions are exploited by those with personal agendas through the exploitation of such tragedies.
The result is a city in turmoil. Some African Americans believe the Cincinnati police officers can not be trusted and the police officers believe (and often rightly so) that their very lives are in danger each time a confrontation such as that with Nathaniel Jones occurs.
I do believe that the police officers responded as best they could given the circumstances at hand but also believe Nathaniel Jones, even in consideration of drugs found in his system, was reacting with excessive paranoia.
Therefore, blame those who instigate lousy race relations. Blame those with personal agendas and vendettas. Blame those who hold grudges and attempt to get revenge through exploitation of the emotions of others. Blame Damon Lynch III and Nate Livingston.
Pamela Snapp, Augusta, Ky.
It's as easy as this: If a police officer tells you to do something, you do it. No struggle, no resisting arrest, no threatening officers. Don't break the law and we won't even have to debate this. As far as I'm concerned, I'd rather have an officer go home to his family after protecting us than a coked-out father who attacks police officers. I'm sure the man had problems--we all do. But let's call a spade a spade. I'm tired of hearing that it's a race issue; it's not. It's an issue of accountability and responsibility. The community needs to stop rallying around these people, start mentoring or do something to help the community.
Maybe the officers should strike, and then these innocent victims can rule the street. I bet we would all be better off then, don't you think?
I would love to see a rally organized for our police officers. They deserve our support.
Bret Schneider, Newport
Let's see, police are attacked by a drug-crazed maniac and only smack him with a baton and yet people are complaining about brutality. How preposterous. I'd like to know why shotguns weren't used? Attacking our protectors (the police) is a damned good reason to be shot, fatally.
Phil Harrell, Price Hill
The police should change the way they handle people. I realize they have a tough job, but they shouldn't be arresting and beating people for nothing.
Steve Terry, Indianapolis
I don't have all of the facts of this case, but I do have an observation on the abuse and treatment of black men and women in Cincinnati and everywhere in the country. I think it's a shame and the community leaders need to take a stand and do something about it. Not the abuse by police, although I'm sure that happens. Ninety-nine percent of the abuse against blacks is by other blacks, but no one wants to do anything about that. Where are the community leaders when one black shoots another, when an innocent person is killed in a drive-by shooting, when a pimp beats his whore, or when someone is robbed? I'll wager that most of them are waiting for the next incident they can blame on someone who's white. If it ain't done by a white; the community leaders aren't going to do or say anything.
This incident should be and will be thoroughly investigated, and any appropriate action taken. But save some of your energy for the real problems facing the community.
Philip Hall, Syracuse, N.Y.
When police are attacked as they were here, they, too, have the right to defend themselves. This man was raging against the police, he showed every intention to endanger them. As an aggressor, he could have stopped his attacks at any time, behaved as a civil human being and would not have suffered this fate.
John Sipple, Phoenix
I am a former resident of Cincinnati, but I still consider it my hometown. At first, I shook my head when reading some of the comments of people who are criticizing the Cincinnati Police. Before criticizing those who protect your life, you should be informed of the facts beforehand.
The national media's coverage of the Nathaniel Jones incident generally includes the several seconds where the police officers are using their night sticks (with Mr. Jones out of the camera's view), leading some to believe this was just another police beating. They do not show Mr. Jones lunging at and hurling the officers around like rag dolls. Nor do they show him continually fighting the officers in a drug-induced rage. Nor do they air the audiotape of Mr Jones using racial slurs against the officers and provoking them throughout the incident. It's time for people to accept accountability for their actions--and the consequences when they do not.
Joe Midkiff, Dallas
I want to send my sympathy to the family and friends regarding Nathaniel's death. I am sad to see that his death was brought about the way it did.
I also want to send my support to the Cincinnati Police Department and their efforts to keep the violence off the streets. I am so tired of this scenario when someone gets killed in an unfortunate situation as this and it gets turned around to be a racial argument. The police are here to keep the violence off the streets and they are being forced by these types of situations to second guess their duties as it turns into an argument as to who was right and who was wrong more times than not. The Cincinnati Police Department need our support if we want to feel safe in our own neighborhoods. If the police keep getting questioned about if they are doing their jobs correct then they may become skeptical about what to do when the next situation arises and then one more criminal will be on the streets because they may be too cautious to do something as it will result in this current situation.
Tricia Gentry, Cincinnati
To Police: Looks like you clubbed him to death. What ever happened to mace or pepper spray?
Harold Niekamp, Dayton, Ohio
I have been reading about the cruelties of the Cincinnati Police for a couple years now and I can't keep to myself any longer. I am neither a racist nor do I believe that the police are perfect. What I do believe is that the police do a great job in Cincinnati. I also believe that you will not have any trouble with the police, unless you deserve it.
I am 32 years old and the only time I have met the police is when I have broken the law. When this happens, I pull over and wait for my ticket and pay my fine. I deserve it, I broke the law. In this latest incident, the police did not just show up and beat this man. Somebody called the police. Somebody knew that this guy was not acting normal. Somebody knew that the police needed to be informed. When the police arrived, if this gentleman would have obeyed the police, nothing would have been in the news. Fact is, he did not. Fact is, he tried to hit an officer of the law. Can we please have some respect? Police carry guns for a reason, because the job is dangerous. Can we not make it any more dangerous?
Two more things before I finish. First of all, 59 out of 61 murders in Cincinnati this year are black on black. Secondly, the drugs probably did cause this man to act this way. I have a great idea: DON'T DO DRUGS, they are illegal! Let's work on the real issues in Cincinnati. Focus, people.
Jeremy Carle, Western Hills
I am not certain that police officers acted improperly in the case of Nathaniel Jones. However, the fact that no one but black men are dying at the hands of the CPD suggests an obvious disparity in treatment. Unless it can be proven that white people behave angelically when confronted by the police, I have to conclude that the police use a standard of care analogous to a property owner's duty toward invitees when dealing with them as opposed to a standard analogous to that due trespassers when dealing with blacks. In other words, officers think, "What SHOULD I do?" when dealing with whites, and "What CAN I do?" when dealing with blacks.
It is notable that Cincinnatians consider it appropriate to exercise more care in apprehending a cow than in apprehending an unarmed black man who was initially not a suspect in a violent crime. This is unacceptable.
Leon Robinson, Pleasant Ridge
After reading Sharon Coolidge's story, she has many unanswered questions I'd like answered.
He has two children ages 14 and 12. "The kids knew who their dad was and they never wanted for anything." Is that because he had nothing to give? Did he ever pay child support?
Tim Bonfield reports there was cocaine, PCP and methanol in his system when the autopsy was performed. It's pretty obvious this was not a first-time drug user. This man most likely suffered from addiction and many, many poor choices in his lifetime. Why didn't Sharon Coolidge ask these questions of the family who so much wanted to share his good side?
It's known in early health classes taught in school that overeating, smoking, drug and alcohol abuse are all sure signs that an early death is likely.
As for the law enforcement, My only question is if it had been a civilian trying to help Nathaniel Jones and the civilian would have ran away, and Nathaniel Jones would have chased the civilian then died of his heart attack, would the civilian be held accountable?
Chris Lemmon, Milford
We (The citizens of Cincinnati) look like complete idiots! How can we let the black community leaders continue to hold the city hostage? They are spreading lies and promoting hatred. Instead of admitting the problem lies within their own communities, they are trying to blame the one group that is committed to protecting them and making their neighborhood a safe place to live. And the saddest part of all this is that our city council allows this to continue. Case in point: Christopher Smitherman's quotes in today's Enquirer:
"I want to make it very clear that I am a newly elected official, and I will not tolerate, ever, insubordination," Smitherman told the chief. "I am one of the members of the board of directors of the City of Cincinnati. Last time I looked at it, I am Chief Streicher's boss."
Well, Mr. Smitherman, I want to make myself very clear, I will not tolerate, ever, insubordination. I am a citizen of the City of Cincinnati. Last time I looked at it, you work for me. That makes me YOUR boss. I say shut up and know your role. You were elected to represent your community. That means the whole community, not just the loudest or most vocal minority.
D. Hoskins, Mt. Lookout
He may have been gentle in everyday life, but mix his size with PCP and cocaine and you have a very large man that MUST be restrained. He attacked the police officers. It's too bad that the restraining by the officers contributed to his death, but he did most of it himself, and the police have NOTHING to be sorry for.
Marc Sirkin, Indianapolis
To the family, my heart goes out to you, but to the officers, mayor, and the coroner office it a shame that we found out how much drugs he had in his body before we found out the exact cause of death, so to me that a cover-up, and justifications. Plus, I don't care if he tried to hit a cop that is no reason to beat him like they did and ultimately cause his death.
Roger Cooper, Avondale
I clearly am not a resident of your city, but am a state east of you. I watched that police video, and was horrified with the way the police handled it. I think that there were other efficient ways that they could have helped that man besides murdering him, which is clearly the case. What leads me to this is that I once was a drug user, and the police in our area, would not hesitate to tazer anyone that was a danger. Maybe your officers should take example, and carry tazers with them also. I feel the officers should be tried for murder, only becuase in the tape ... they just stood there, knowing what they done, and didn't even call for resue till the evil deed was done. They should of called a ambulance, not fire rescue. To them he might of been a "junkie n-----" as all law enforcement feels, but to others, like his family he was a loving person, that might of had a problem. I being a white male at age of 30 weep for his family, and his friends, and i pray that your officers get what they deserve in the legal system, and the eyes of god. This man did not deserve what they took from him, and that is his life. "Thou shall not kill" We need to also have the police policed... Thank You
J. Sweigart, Lancaster, Pa.
I am writing in response to S. Coolidge's article on Jones family in Dec. 4 edition.
This news article makes this guy sound like a saintly "hero", How come his two children lived 5 hours away in Cleveland (along with the children's mother) and he was on illegal drugs? Yet he is posed as a "good" father? Where is the sense of moral obligation to family? This guy's father left him as a child, and he is living far from his children as well.... It is a cycle.... Don't keep blaming "white" cops, who were threatened by a large sized "victim" on PCP! (He may be a "nice" guy, but taking drugs does chemically change behavior, as medical experts can show.) This "provocative" journalistic reporting is so biased, with the sole purpose of trying to stir up more racial tension, so hurtful to our city's chance of "peace" and healing. It also makes every "black" death the "white" cops' fault, without a doubt, even if proven innocent. Headlines in Cincinnati...Black VS White in the ring again! If color is not supposed to matter, why do the media keep sensationalizing "race" to always be the reason for anything our public servants, the police do to fight crime? As Peter Bronson so eloquently put it in his editorial (same day), many different versions to juice up the story, without all the facts.
Apparently, this individual has more of a right to get violent/disruptive (after being treated for passing out due to PCP and cocaine intake along with heart problems and weight issues) than these officers do when he lunges at them? Is the color "white" now an instant "guilty "(with instant media drama) until proven otherwise? What happened to the "justice for all" part?
Liz Elder, Montgomery
As I have read the accounts of this story of Nathaniel Jones, I am struck by the sense of the choice he himself made. Here we have the statement that the man is nonviolent, which is probably true. BUT he chose to take illegal drugs which change the personality of a person. If he had not made that wrong choice, the story would have been quite different. This is not a story about Police brutality, but about Police who are confronted violently by someone who chose to disobey the law and consume drugs which were not legal.
Gary M Frede, Turlock Calif. (formerly Western Hills)
The police did what they needed to. The family is just looking for a way to make money out of it now. The city has bowed down to these civil rights groups too much. They are going to make it so that there are no police to protect the LAW ABIDING citizens, because they are going to be too scared that they might offend someone if they do their job. For the family to say he was never violent is ludicrous. Had they seen him on drugs often. The drugs he was taking are proven to induce violence. Maybe the Black United Front needs to concern themselves with education and helping kids get off of drugs to prevent this sort of thing. Not hopping on the lawsuit wagon, but it seems that's what they are here for. They don't have any concern for bettering the community, just what can they get for themselves. They are just interested in picking fights with whoever they can.
Steve Black, Groesbeck
I just think the hitting was too much to look at. I thought they could have let up a little, because he couldn't have run away. Apparently, he had some kind of medical condition and was unarmed, therefore they should have stopped the beating. I didn't know this guy, but as anyone whether you are black or white I would have cried just watching the video. I just think there should be more training on "how to deal with certain people" such as this one.
Bernie Williams, Silverton
After watching the videotape I am convinced that the actions taken by the police were correct. If they would have let up on him and then if he somehow would have gotten one of their guns then the police would have been blamed for Mr. Jones maybe killing himself or someone else. I believe you did the right thing. I knew Barry and although I haven't spoken to him in some time I know that he is a very decent person. He is one the nicest guys you would ever want to spend time with and I'm glad there are guys like him willing to put everything on the line to protect the public from the kind of person we saw in the videotape. Thank you to all the officers involved Sunday.
Sue Singer-Busch, West Harrison
My comments are for the black community that feels that this is another racially motivated killing of an innocent black man. Sometimes I find it surprising how people can ignore the facts in this case. People want to blame the officers for performing their duty as they were trained. In my opinion if this had been four black police officers and the victim was a white male I believe the facts would remain the same. The person was hyped up on PCP, attacked two officers and refused to surrender when commanded to do so. I hear comments on how the officers should have been more tolerant and negotiated a more peaceful solution. If a 300+ man hyped up on cocaine and PCP were to attack me I would feel the time for negotiation and peaceful resolution had passed. When will the protesting members of the black community take any responsibility for their actions? This incident is unfortunate but does anyone think this individual would have died if he had chosen not to attack the officers. Would he have died if he had not been a cocaine/PCP drug user or had not been in such horrible physical condition? The answer is that there are a lot of things that could have been different in this case that would have prevented this mans death. The fact remains that there are laws that govern our society and there are consequences for ones actions. This was not some honor role student on his way to church who was attacked for no reason. He was a drug user that aggressively attacked an officer of the law. Black or white, if you break the laws of our society and attack our police officers they are going to defend themselves and you are going to be subdued and taken to jail.
Troy Fall, Oakley
This whole situation greatly irritates me. The media, once again, is attempting to create a situation that is bound to degrade Cincinnati, but will attract readers and increase revenue for the media. Nathaniel Jones' death is a tragedy and my prayers go out to his family. How those ministers and black support groups can contentiously support a man who was high on cocaine, pcp and assaulted police officers, is beyond me. The police acted within their training to subdue the criminal, who due to his extreme intoxication, would not comply. This is not a race issue as the media would have you believe. What kind of family allows Mr. Jones and what kind of man would out on the street high on cocaine and pcp at 5 am. The police acted in the correct manner to protect themselves and the community from this drug user. This is a sad day for law enforcement when they are under fire for protecting the community from this menace, and for the black community who's leaders are supporting a drug user that attacks the police. I hope Cincinnati opens their eyes to the truth and does not punish those police officers.
George Leugers, Cincinnati
Appears to me the police were just doing their job. I'm in total disbelief that the Reverends aren't concerned with the drugs found in Nathaniels body. Or the fact that he resisted arrest. Nathaniel would be alive today if he was off of drugs and if he didn't resist arrest. How are these reverands getting this word out to their communities? (stay off drugs and follow directions of all police officers)
Debbie Linenberger, Anderson
I support the Cincinnati Police Department 100%. Their actions were necessary. I am sick and tired of hearing about "another black man killed at the hands of the police." I heard someone on the news saying something to that effect last night. He also added "when was the last time you heard about the police abusing a white man?" Guess what? When was the last time you saw a white man attack an officer? I'm sure it happens, but the reason you don't hear about it is because we don't throw the fit of a 2-year-old when someone is held accountable for their actions and crimes. Not one person stating those words have enough courage to put that uniform on and do that job.
Tracy Rottenberger, Price Hill
To the family and all of Nathaniel Jones friends, I am very sorry for your loss. It is hard for me to understand what went wrong in the first place, and now that he has passed away, we will never know the truth about this incident.
This will remain a one sided story, because Nathaniel is not here any longer to defend himself, and it does look like that is what he was trying to do.
According to the video, he was seen swinging at the officer. This alone, could have gotten Nathaniel shot dead.
When it is time for one to pass on, there is nothing that can stop it. It was his time to go.
All the fighting in the world, will not bring Nathaniel back, but I understand that family and friends needs closure, that is very important for the survivors of Nathaniel.
Every time they show the video, it seems more and more like the police over reacted, I seriously doubt that those cops ever did that to anyone before, and they didn't have a clue as to how powerfull they had become with so many officers.
Each one using excessive strength, It turned fatal, and I know that the police was not trying to kill him, that part was an accident.
It was all about helping Nathaniel when he was in distress, no one wanted it to turn out the way it did.
If the anger can be put to the side long enough to make sense out of all of this, this whole nightmare incident can calm down, so that things can be settled in a civil way.
I doubt if there will be a riot, because it seems to be a loosing battle out there, the best thing to do is to know your rights, and be civil towards others.
This includes the police department. The coroner has made his rules, and it seems to be all of their faults that Nathaniel Jones is no longer alive.
But it is also the fault of Nathaniel himself, for resisting the help that was called for him.
No matter what was in his system, his reaction led to a chain reaction, which led to his death.
Had he accepted the help that he received in the first place, he would not be dead.
Vickie Williams, Covington
Hardest job in the world: Cincinnati Police officer who has to deal with black males
To the family of Nathaniel Jones: You have the sympathy of many, many people. Losing a loved one is the most difficult event human beings ever experience. My thoughts and prayers are with you.
To the black leaders in the Cincinnati community: Police officers are hired to do a job and when they do the job you should show support. If this man was a threat to them, and he obviously was, then God bless the police for doing their jobs. There are so many different ways that such a confrontation could go if the police do not establish control immediately. Most are not good. Consider heavily that drugs are the real problem here...and the fact the Mr. Jones decided to use them.
Chris Vehr, Central Ohio
I cannot believe that this is proper procedure. Most everyone seeing this video are horrified at the police action, especially the one policeman with the billy club. If someone was beating on me like that I would try to get away too. There must be a better way. Yes, the man was big, yes, he was resisting, but beating him over and over with such force can not be tolerated. I am just wondering who might have pulled their gun to shoot him , had he not dropped dead.
These men involved especially the one seen wielding the billy club so violently, should be suspended, indicted, and given the same treatment as punishment.
Thomas Ann, Southeastern Ohio
Lets think about this...A big man, on drugs, attacks the police referring to them as "redneck, white boys" Puts on a prolonged struggle, is finally overcome by 6 police officers. He has a pre-existing heart condition, is on drugs, is in a violent prolonged struggle and has a heart attack. Unfortunately he died, but this is not the officers' fault, if they had not been attacked there would have been no conflict, and no heart attack. Cincinnati needs to continue to heal and not be torn apart but groups seeking to profit from civil and racial conflict.
Aaron Goldsholl, Clifton
The family said he is not violent! What does the tape show?
He had an enlarged heart, was grossly overweight, and his system contained cocaine, PCP and methanol, but it was a homicide! He was intoxicated but it was not lethal!
Maybe it was not lethal in a normal person, but what about someone of his weight with an enlarged heart?
Seems to me that he was suicidal.
The coroner's report is a contradiction.
Diane Martis, Florida
Responsibility: How many deaths or conflicts would be past history without incident if the parties would have submitted to legal authority? I repeat: HOW MANY?
Let's put the guilt where it belongs, on the law-breakers, not Cincinnati, the law abiding citizens or the law enforcemtnt officers
Merle Helms, Hillcrest
This whole thing is nonsense. Some out of shape guy who was driving around city streets high on PCP and cocaine, on a holiday weekend no less, provokes the cops and ends up dying. How is this international news? How does this display poor practice by the police? Should they have given him a lecture on better eating habits before approaching him? Or maybe suggested some aerobic workout routines. Maybe they should have asked if he felt he was in fit enough condition to withstand being restrained. This is a joke and it has nothing to do with race. One less drug user, one less danger on the road. Why is everyone so concerned about how the police treat criminals? If you don't break the law, you won't have to worry about it.
Nathan Wojcik, East Walnut Hills
I'd like to believe I was raised in what is popularly known as the real world. In the real world, you do what the police tell you to and if you do not, you then immediately accept responsability for the consequences.
With regards to the death of Nathaniel Jones while in the custody of Cincinnati Police, there are three (3) perspectives here in the Queen City:
1) From the eyes of the white community, this is just another case of a black man who resisted arrest, became violent and ultimately died as a result of his own actions. If he had cooperated with police, he would still be alive today.
2) From the eyes of the black community, this is just another case of the police using excessive (and deadly) force to subdue a black man who wasn't doing anything wrong. If the police hadn't provoked him, Jones would still be alive today.
3) Then there is Willie Cunningham, local talk show personality. Unfortunately, he can take a serious subject like the Jones death and turn it into a "Big Time Wrestling" event. Cunningham refers to himself as the "Voice of the Common Man," but after his immature behavior on the Hannity & Combs shows Monday and Wednesday, the only people he represented were the lunatic fringe.
Bill Cunningham's behavior on the nationally-broadcast show was an embarrassment. Unfortunately, he is a smart man who sold out to the WWF style of trash-talk radio.
On behalf of all Cincinnatians, I would like to apologize to the family of Nathaniel Jones and to the Cincinnati Police department. "Willie's" perspective is not OUR perspective.
Chris Treinen, Springfield Township
As much as the divisive, so called black community leaders would have us think the Cincinnati Police are "looking to kill another black man", the real issue here comes down to personal responsibility. It was Nathaniel Jones' personal responsibility to comply with the officer's instructions. It was Nathaniel Jones' personal responsibility to follow the law and not take illegal drugs that affected his judgements. It was Nathaniel Jones' personal responsibility to not assault a Cincinnati Police Officer. However, Nataniel Jones chose not to make good decisions. Nataniel Jones chose to be overweight, ingest cocaine and PCP, disregard the Cincinnati Police, assault a Police Officer and, ulitimately, die at another person's hands. I feel so sorry that Nathaniel Jones' family has to go through this loss. I feel even more sorry for his children. They will have to go through life visiting the grave of their father, never knowing his soft, reassuring words and encouragement to do the right thing. But, if Nathaniel Jones were doing the right thing, he'd be here to say that. It's not the fault of the Cincinnati Police or those six officers whom give of themselves nightly to protect our society from ourselves, but the decisions of the individual. It was Nathaniel Jones' personal responsibility...to live. Guess you can't do that on drugs.
Chris Emter, North Bend
The behavior of several City Council members during yesterday's meeting was reprehensible and unforgivable. I would like to point out to Councilman Smitherman that the last time I looked, as a registered voter and resident of the City of Cincinnati, I am his boss. As such, I want him to know that in his capacity as my employee, his public condemnation of the police department, Chief Streicher and Manager Lemmie is unsatisfactory and unacceptable. I am certain that my opinion does not carry much weight with the council members (Cole, Reese and Smitherman) who participated in the public bashing of CPD, Streicher and Lemmie since I am not one of the vocal contingent who regularly interrupt council meeting or hold press conferences but I would like to thank those on council who had to courage to support law and order and not bend to the pressure of those who believe that the rights of criminal supercede the rights of the public.
Laura Striker, Covedale
The death of Nathaniel Jones is a tragic event that could have been prevented by the actions of Nathaniel Jones and Nathaniel Jones alone!
No one likes to see a person die, but this death is one that has taught us all a lesson.
1) Don't mix cocaine and PCP
2) Don't fight with police.
3) If the police tell you to do something, do it!
I know a lot of police officers, and not one of them goes out looking for someone to beat up.
Police officers are just like the rest of us. They have a family just like the rest of us, that at the end of everyday, look forward to going home to.
I support the fact that the police released the video and surveillance tape from the White Castle. It shows that they have nothing to hide.
The fact that Nathaniel Jones is dead is tragic, but it is a death that could have been prevented by obeying the law and staying off drugs and keeping yourself in good health.
Now that we have all seen the tape one hundred times over, lets take it out of the media, and let the judicial system take it cource.
To Chief Striecher, and the police officers of the Cincinnati Police Department: Keep up the good work!
Kevin James, Delhi
I'm a black female and my comment is why someone has to die. When I first saw the video it was like Rodney King all over again but with less beatings. I was born and raised in Cincinnati and when things like this happens the media (Cincinnati) likes to bring out all the dirt on someone. All the negative publicity about a human being that has died by the use of excessive force is uncalled for. They should have just left him alone, called for backup that is trained in dealing with a person with a medical condition. My prayers go out to the Jones family. Mr. Lawson I think you're the best attorney around and I know justice will prevail.
Kim Brown, Fairfield
I am sorry that Nathaniel Jones died. However, I must say that I do believe that he brought his death on himself. It is obvious that White Castle employees were concerned enough about Mr. Jones' actions to call fire department personnel. When CPD arrived it is clear from audio tape that the police officer asked what the problem might be. Mr. Jones clearly uses racial slurs against the white police officers immediately. My question regarding that is why is that being publized in this newspaper? Then Mr. Jones clearly attacks an officer. I commend the officers for not just shooting Mr. Jones. They performed their duty without calling Mr. Jones any degrogatory names, but simply demanded that he put his hands behind his back and submit. If that had been done by Mr. Jones, his death might not have happened that night. But, considering his other health and drug related issues, there is no guaranty that he would have lived a long life. My other question would be if the suspect had been white would we be having all this turmoil? I think not. It is time for all of us to claim responsibility for our own actions.
Debbie Bolen, Price Hill
I think that the people in this city need to start taking personal responsibility for their actions. This applies to both the police force and to the Nathaniel Jones. If you choose to take drugs and disobey the reasonable requests of a police officer then action should be taken to protect the safety of the officer. The police put their lives on the line each and every day to maintain order in our society. Although I do feel that there is much room for improvement in the police force. As a registered nurse in the community with a bachelors in science, I feel that every professional serving the community should have at least this degree of education. Police officers should be required to take classes in psychology and social sciences as other professionals thereby increasing their ability to effectively deal with the public. I feel that it is time for people in this city to start working together to make improvements rather than pointing fingers and taking no responsibility. It saddens me to think that race is brought up by many leaders in our city at opportune times to allow for personal political gain. I don't see many of the people pointing fingers and citing racism doing anything on a regular basis to improve relations between police and citizens. Had the man killed been white, would the NAACP or Rev. David Lynch be demanding answers? I think not. This is the real tragedy in this event. That racism still exists. Racism that goes both ways.
Jennifer Shannon, Colerain
To the police: The baton tactics are very brutual and ugly, though everything that was done may have been according to procedure. Aren't there alternate methods?
In general: The baton blows were hurtful but apparently not directly related to Mr. Jones' death. Three mintues of extreme exertion were. Mr. Jones had ample oportunities to cease that exertion. I saw no evidence of racist statements or attitudes on behalf of the officers. Strong efforts are being made to bring out whatever facts can be released in the midst of an investigation, which have been considerable at this stage. Why is the rhetoric level so high? City Council once again is part of the problem, not the solution.
James Carr, Cincinnati
Chief Streicher does not deserve to be pilloried and abused by either the community or the government officials. He, and his officers, have handled both the incident and being under the spotlight admirably. The fact a gun was never drawn by any officer at any time admirably attests to this fact. I doubt most of us would have been as restrained as the officer on the scene if we were being attacked by a 350 + lb. person.
Cincinnati does not appreciate what it has. The man is a devoted professional, dealing with with times that try men's souls.
David Yaros, Westside
From your reporting the conduct of the City Counsel is disgraceful. I am surprised that you have any individual willling to be a police officers there.
John Marsh, Marietta, Ohio
My message to the family: keep your head up god will see that justices is done. My message to the police: I am outraged that you have not learn from the roits of 2001 that our people are tried of your use of excessive force with african american males. I feel that you need to think before reacting in a ungodly way. Beating a man to death is not justifedable in god book, you treat african american in the city as amanials, we are not slaves any more we are free and deserve to be treat equal. To the Community: Stand up and take what ever action you feel that is necessary for justice to be done. Whatever you don't destroy your own neigborhood. Rise above the maladroit of the city and voice your opinion with just the major with the governor as well stand and let's rise to defeat exessive force. Let's come together to make a law to stop the exessive force abuse.
Darian Bradshaw, Baltimore, Md.
It is a shame that another person's life has been taken away. As an African American male I'm concerned with the many African Americans that are dying on the streets. Many things must be done to combat the problems of race and the police. Until then African Americans must step up and take on some responsibility. We must look at ourselves in the mirror and keep out of dangerous situations by respecting what authorities say and not running.
Ron Wright, Cincinnati
My message is that if the guy didn't become stupid and fight with the police, none of this crap would have happened. He should have known better. Having drugs in his body was no excuse. That's zero tolerance. Don't people out there realize that the police are just doing their job? You don't run away from police. You don't disrespect authority. That's just the way it is. If you don't like Cincinnati or the law, I suggest you find another place or country to live in. I don't feel pity for the guy that died, because he should have known better. That's no excuse him attacking police. And to the Cincinnati police, you are doing fine work. If the people of Cincinnati would grow up and act more mature, none of this stuff would happen. White, Black, Grey, or Pink, it doesn't matter who you are. I'm getting fed up with these so called "Race related incidents". The media also has a lot to do with all this drama going on. So please everyone, can't you just act your age and grow up!
Jack Holt, Nashville, Tenn.
Would someone please explain to me why the police officers are being crucified for doing there jobs, One oficer was brutally attacked by Mr. Jones but some people are ignoring this fact (the NAACP among others), If he was such a sweet man why was he high on PCP and Coke? Why did he not cooperate with the officers when they arrived? Too many people are looking for a scapegoat and not admitting that Mr. Jones is ultimately to be blamed for his own death!
C. Huffman, Covington
I was born and raised (23 years) in Cincinnati. White Male 42. Entered the military nearly 20 years ago. I am a videographer for the Navy.
To the family I am sorry for your loss. I am sure Mr. Jones was a gentle/kind person. But, the man you called "Skip" and the man that fought with the police was not the same man. According to the media reports, with the intoxicating levels of PCP and cocaine in his system, Mr. Jones was a time bomb ready to go off. Sometimes we do not want to hear the truth about our loved ones. Did anyone know of his drug use? Did anyone step up and try to help him? If Mr. Jones would have lived, it is clear to me along with other charges, he would of been charged with assaulting a police officer. The police have very dangerous/stressful job, As a military member, I can appreciate the job they do.
As for the video, I understand the police intent for releasing as not to appear to cover anything up, however the video, like always, does not tell the whole story.
From the video I seen, it was clear that Mr. Jones attacked the police officer and they responded. To someone else it may appear Mr. Jones was beaten for no reason. Anyone that watches the video will have their own reactions and view depending on experience, prejudices etc.
The problem I have is with the clergy in the African-American neighborhood where Mr. Jones lived. They wanted to march on City Hall? The work of a clergy should be one of consoling and providing comfort (to the Jones Family); not to escalate a delicate situation into something that could destroy a community. Cincinnati needs African-American leadership that knows how to lead! Through sacrifice and committment and not personal gain!
Phillip Lawhorn Sr., Virginia Beach, Va.
Where does the city of Cincinnati find anyone to apply for or accept a job as a police officer? If I lived in Cincinnati, I would certainly move out of the city. The police are prevented from protecting the law-abiding citizens. The hoodlums and the council members who represent them are running the city. It is no wonder that downtown is dead. It is unsafe. I will not let my family go downtown for that reason. Until the city leaders stand up for law & order and stop pandering to those profiting from the "race" card, Cincinnati will remain a safe haven for unlawfull blacks. I agree with the boycott! Let the black so called leaders who are ruining the city have it all. Just keep them north of the river please.
Jim Thomas, Alexandria, Ky.
Mr. Jones brought about his own death. Lunging at a police office, being overweight, under the infuence of pcp and cocaine all contributed to his demise. The police did not cause his death.
What is disturbing is that black leadership refuses to be objective. Rather than say the Mr. Jones was responsible, they look for a scapegoat. They won't find one in this case.
Nolan Bill, Western Hills
Nathaniel Jones' family keeps saying that "this wasn't him," he wouldn't have attacked without being provoked, he was "a gentle giant," etc. I think it's rather convenient that they are dancing around the fact that he was on drugs. The "Just Say No" campaign has been in existence for two decades; the war on drugs is not new, and you would think that people would have caught on by now that drugs change who you are. They alter your body chemistry and cause people to act in ways contrary to their normal behavior. People need to take responsibility for their own actions, and quit pointing fingers. Allow that Nathaniel Jones did assault the police, provoked or not. Even if 'provoked', (which is shown by the White Castle footage to be untrue) it doesn't make it right to attack anybody, police or no.
The fact that people are so quick to jump on the 'police racial brutality' bandwagon really makes them look ignorant, and reflects poorly on our city. People need to accept that the police are doing the best they can. The people protesting also need to practice what they preach. When the ministers request that judgment not be passed until all facts are in, they also need to not judge the police for doing their job, until the facts are in. When people ask that suspects are innocent until proven guilty, they also need to accept that the police, as well, are innocent until proven guilty. I would like to see more efforts on the part of the city to educate the general public on the role of police in our society. If you aren't breaking the law, you are safe. You don't need to run from, you don't need to be rude to, and you don't need to attack the police. Once you break the law, and that includes assaulting a police officer, expect that you are going to be arrested by the quickest means possible. My suggestion is that another school program, similar to DARE, be created to encourage and foster positive relationships between the police and the community; and start with children. I am not fooling myself; I do believe that there are instances where perhaps an individual officer is racist, or acts in a way that reflects poorly on the police as a group. But for anybody to assume that any and all police are the same way is just another stereotype. And quite a poor one for the city or the NAACP to encourage or allow to continue.
I understand that it takes two to tango, and that the officers certainly fought with Nathaniel Jones. But this sword does have a double edge, and I fully believe that there would have been no struggle, had Nathaniel Jones not taken a swing at Officer James Pike. I don't believe this should be labeled a homicide any more than it should be labeled a suicide. Homicide is defined as the killing of one person by another, not 'a death involving other people.' Whether the intent was criminal or justifiable is irrelevant; the word homicide indicates that there was intent to cause death. The officers did not act in a way that under normal circumstances would cause the death of Nathaniel Jones. He died because his body could not handle the stress it was under, partly of his own doing. This was an accidental death. It is tragic, to be sure, but as I said before, we all need to stop pointing fingers. If a football coach, unaware of a heart problem of a new teammate, runs all his players for an hour and one collapses and dies, how could that be ruled a homicide?
Amy D., St. Bernard
Had (Jones) not been overweight and on dope he probably would have been the "gentle giant" I think that his life style is the cause of his death not the police.
Scott Hill, Blue Ash
To the family I would like to say how very sorry I am. It is hard enough to lose someone you love but to see it played constantly on national television must make the pain even harder to bear.
To the Cincinnati Police Department; I can't imagine how hard it is now and will be to do this job. The public ask a lot from people in your position and now your hands are really being tied by a community who is fearful of retaliation.
To the Cincinnati community: Was this man's death caused by a prejudiced police department because of the color of his skin? Or was this man's death caused by the drugs in his system? Or was this man's death caused by obesity? In any case we all need to have the decency to answer some very tough questions. Please have respect for this man'a family because they are in pain but also keep in mind that the laws are in place for reasons and some of those reasons no one like to think about. That's why we hire police officers to do their job.
Sandra Trenkamp, Independence
Would anyone care to make this much fuss if that man had been white? Doubt it!
Laura Palmer, Cheviot
I am so very angry about the coverage that has been surrounding this issue. The police are out there everyday protecting this city and the community needs to show more respect for the officers who risk their lives daily.
I think that they showed great restraint. No one took out their gun to shoot this man. When a police officer tells you to put your hands behind you back you should be putting your hands behind you back. The police in this case demanded that he put his hands behind his back no less than 16 times!
I am also furious that the family immediately felt the need to retain Ken Lawson services. It is like everytime something happens in this city, there is always someone with their hands out looking for somekind of payout from the city. Someone will always try to claim it is a racist issue. This is not a racist issue. This is a tragic accident. No one was trying to kill this man. The same thing could have happened if this was a white, asian, or latino man who was acting in a threatening manner. Had he cooperated with the police he would still be alive today. This is as much if not more Mr Jones fault than it is the police.
Diana Frank, Linwood
I do not believe that Nathaniel Jones needed to die, but his life was in his own hands. I don't understand why people still struggle with police if they believe that police brutality is out of control. You would think they would comprehend that if several people have died during a struggle that they should co-operate and things might come a little easier. I don't think that it has anything to do with color. The police are trained to defend theirselves and to keep things under control. When you have a 350 lb man coming at you, what are you supposed to do...stand there and get the crap beat out of you and whoever else.
Tammy White, Cincinnati
I am sick to death of the Black Community in the city, refusing to discuss the criminality of the suspects that the Police have had to control. I think that the preachers and Black community leaders need to get their houses in order before they have a legitimate complaint concerning the police. I want them to shut up until they get the people in the neighborhood to act like civilized people who understand that the law is for everyone. The police are not the problem. If a small percentage of the Black community didn't live the outlaw life of crime and disregard all sense of responsibility for their actions, there would not be a PROBLEM. clean up the the crime and quit making excuses for these people, problem solved.
Ed Schneider, Fort Wright, Ky.
I would like to send my condolence to Mr. Jones family and friends. I am deeply sadden that once again Cincinnati has made National headline news for what appears to be another senseless death contributed by police officer action. I support the police and the job they do for the citizens of Cincinnati. However, the police job as I understand it is to protect and serve. To protect the community, its citizens and themselves. Mr. Jones was one of those citizens and as such deserved much better. Are we to assume that anyone on drugs or acting erraticly or with some mental disorder should be treated in this manor? I feel strongly the trainning of the officers should be questioned and reviewed. Surely some one dancing out side a fast food restaurant does not constitute a threat. I understand that Mr. Jones attack an officer. I have no problem with the officers on the scene defending themselves or using force on Mr. Jones. I am concerned with the police approach leading up to the confrontation and the use of excessive force. Cincinnati has and will continue to revisit this issue many more times in the future if we do not address it now. We will continue to have the eyes of the world look at us as a bunch of yahoo's who are unable and unwilling to take on the hard issues. In closing, Change must start at the top. First we must admit there is a problem and quit trying to justify things which are just not justifiable. Our elected officals and the community as a whole must stop burying our heads in the sand and living in denial. We must have a true commitment from our City Council, Mayor, Police Cheif and the city prosecutor that change is needed. If the commitment does not come from the top then we need to select new leaders which are committed to moving this community forward. We can do it, it is up to US.
Angela Byrd, Golf Manor
I am sorry that Nathaniel Jones died, but I am tired of hearing about how nice he was and how he was never violent and how good he was to his kids. If he was always being so nice to so many people then how could he possibly have had the time to be getting high on cocaine and PCP all the time? This is just another case of a bad situation be blamed on everyone else rather than someone's irresponsible behavior.
J. Bower, Cincinnati
First let me say that it's tragic that Mr. Jones died as a result of this incident. My thoughts and prayers go out to his family and the police officers involved. That being said, is it any wonder why people from the surrounding suburbs don't venture downtown any more? I don't simply because the people of the City of Cincinnati don't respect their police force. From the video that I've seen, here's a person whom is resisting arrest and attacking your police officers. Aren't the police charged with protecting your citizens, but what about themselves?
I believe the lack of police respect has bred from all the organizations in Cincinnati that "arm-chair quarterback" every police situation possible. Were they at the White Castle this past week or in the dark alley last year? They've set up the notion that every action the police take must be reviewed and scrutinized until fault is found with the way they acted. Soon your police officers won't even get involved to give traffic tickets for fear of upsetting someone.
People don't come downtown any more because the special interest groups have made it unsafe.
Its a terrible thing when anyone dies an unfortunate death. Yet, the man was on drugs, he clearly initiated this interaction. From what I see, the police excercised great restraint. Nathaniel Jones, and only Nathaniel Jones was responsible for what happened.
And this poor city of ours once again has to suffer because of the self serving stupidity and comments of certain council members, Our city, slowly but surely , is being run into the ground, Poor Cincinnati.
And I see Mr Lawson and the NAACP have once again stepped up to the plate on this matter . Way too funny. Most of us are not prejudiced. Yet, Mr. Lawson, you make us angry with your legal game playing.
Again, I feel bad that anyone suffer. But, most importantly, I feel bad for our once proud city. Most of us wish the mayor, vice mayor, the majority of city council and the Kenneth (I wanna be a superstar ) Lawsons would just move
Mark Becker, Amberley Village
The incident that took place early Saturday morning is a certainly a tragic one, and one that could've been avoided, but the choice was made by Nathaniel Jones. The family insists that he was not a violent man. There happens to be a videotape of the account that shows the extreme opposite as Mr. Jones attacks an officer. We might have been watching two different videos if you believe that the man was attempting to surrender to authorities, simply because his swinging arms had open hands. He is depicted as a very aggresive man, and he suffered the consequences of his actions. It is possible that race played a role considering the fact that Mr. Jones called an officer a "white boy", and by some accounts a "redneck". The police acted professionally in this situation and that will be the final determination of the proper authorities after all investigations are complete. I find it hard to believe that people are willing to go to extreme lengths for a man that was on more than a couple types of illegal substances, who acted violently, and continued to be aggresive when ordered by police to simply stop resisting. The video clearly shows an avoidable situation, but one that only could've been avoided by the man police were attempting to speak with. The struggle ended his life, the struggle that he chose.
Steve Ball, West Lafayette, Ind.
If the Cincinnati Police were "following proper procedure" in their confrontation with Nathaniel Jones, then it is TIME FOR PROCEDURE TO CHANGE. There have to be better ways to handle such a situation. The people in Cincinnati, both black and white, need to stand together and demand changes in the Cincinnati Police Department.
Karen Davis, Dillonvale
Here we go again. Another person is caught in the act of a crime and because he is of a certain race we are to let it go. It is time we start supporting our police departments who try to make Greater Cincinnati a safe place to live for everyone. As long as local government agencies are held hostage by a vocal media seeking group, inner city Cincinnati is not a safe place to be. It has always been my understanding if I decided to commit a crime I risk the consequences of that crime. This minority group is sending a clear message that we are to ignore illegal activity if it involves one of theirs, with the threat of more violent criminal behavior as we experience with the so called peaceful protests last time. Other major cities in the United States have similar problems but do not let a small group dictate as to whether a crime is to be dealt with. We need to put this to an end and enforce the law at the risk of the criminal not our officers of other citizens.
Glenn Jodrey, Milford
What does 50 pounds difference make? Did they weigh the man after he passed away to get an accurate weight? Don't tell me that men don't lie about their weight, and when does the council and all of the city officals who are up in arms know a person's weight? Whether it is 350 or 400, the man was much bigger than the officers who had the task of dealing with him. The fact that he was huge and drugs in his system, the quietest of man can get violent if they are on drugs. I saw the video and saw two officers sent to do a job on a offender, who made the first move on them. I did not see black on white or white on black. I saw 3 people. I would sure like to see the council people/city officals and the NAACP who are bent out of shape, hold classes for the City Police to show them the "proper" way they should handle an offender who out weighs them or maybe these people need to ride along, or be on call 24/7 so the officers can call them, to come out and handle the problem and cuff them so then the officers just have to take them to jail.
Davis Luanne, Lexington, Ky.
Wretched brutality at its peak!
This is what I would call this beating by the two criminally vicious Cops.
If you see the video with an unbiased view, you could easily tell that all these two (animalistic shame on the police force) should have done, is to stand back and shout their commands to the big guy.
The poor blob was "high" and he needed a moment for the situation to really instill in his cerebrum. He was not carrying any weapon what-so-ever and did not deserve to be continously clubed by these hienas.
I hope that the law of our beautiful & free homeland shows it's strength and justice prevails. This case is a slap on the face of all of us if we remain silent on the criminality of the members of the force that is fed by our money to support & protect us.
Sean Newman, Las Vegas, Nev.
I feel very sorry for that poor man, whose only crime was to feel happy for a short period of time before (the struggle with) the police. This is a very sad indication of how sick our nation has become under the regime of Bush & Company. My prayers are with Mr. Jones and his family.
David Wade, Somerset, N.J.
I'm a soldier serving in Iraq for the American people. It is our job to ensure that Americans are safe and free. It's the job of the Cincinnati police to do the same for the city of Cincinnati. This was NOT a race thing. The police responded to a call for help. They didn't use force until the man refused to listen to their request. He threw the first punch and the police defended themselves. The man still resisted arrest after they attempted to force him down to the ground. This had nothing to do with the race of the man. This had to do with a man who was using illegal drugs and broke the law. Good job Cincy police!
Don M., Iraq
Fight the police and bad things can happen! Come on, the guy swung at the cops, was on PCP and cocaine. What do you expect the Police to do? Get in there cars and drive off!
Once again I think the police was in the wrong, and as usual they're going to get away with it. They never stopped hitting him to see if he was trying to surrender. It wasn't until they noticed he wasn't breathing they stopped to consider something was wrong. Personally they would have been better off shooting him in the leg or something, at least not another unarmed black man would be dead at the hands of the Cincinnati Police.
Tiffany Jones, Avondale
My heart and prayers go out to the family of Nathaniel.
The Police that were shown beating the poor man, should be fired without pay, and should pay for the beating of this man. it was criminal, and in the news it said that he was sleeping on a bench, boy was he being a nusiance! once nathaniel was on the ground, should of been enough, but to keep beating him, no wonder he had a heart attack, the drugs didnt help, his heart was more than likely going like the clappers, no one deserves that, i dont care whether you are black white pink or green. they themselves are the criminals and we have to get rid of the once that dont want to play by the book, and you wonder why the public dont bloody trust them. shame on you, and its about time we caught you, that think cos you got a badge you own the bloody world. go get them family. the cops need to know that they can not get away with this.
Gaynor Lloyd, Canada
My son is a recent UC graduate. So I have very warm feelings for the city of Cincinnati. But I was horrified watching the video of the police brutality towards this man who obviously was not guilty of any crime. Why was deadly force used when the restaurant's call was for his safety? City management needs to recognize and rectify the serious problems in their police department. Each citizen is guaranteed the fundamental rights of "Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness." Why were these rights denied Mr. Jones?
Carol Shrader, Virginia Beach, Va.
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