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Sunday, January 18, 2004

Alleged slur piques the ire of readers



A Cincinnati police officer, approximately five years ago, may or may not have uttered a racial slur with two other white officers during a meeting that they knew was being taped. If the officer actually was racially insensitive, some form of discipline should be applied. But what does this have to do with the number of black-on-black crimes, including murder, that have been so horribly numerous of late?

Shouldn't Councilman Christopher Smitherman be just as concerned about that as he is a possible slur? I listened to the tape several times, and I wasn't sure what the officer said. Maybe Smitherman has keener hearing than I. Or maybe he has a vendetta issue with Cincinnati police.

Debbie Bolen, Price Hill

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Do the right thing, and punish officer

I am writing to express my disgust with yet another blatant attempt by the Cincinnati Police Department to water down another incident of inappropriate behavior by one of its officers. It is as clear as the noses on all our faces that a racial slur was used in the recently released videotape. To turn this into a debate as to whether or not a slur was used is another slap in the face of this city's African-American population.

Do the right thing and acknowledge the wrongdoing and bring down swift and severe punishment to this officer. Show him and any others with the same mind-set that this city will not tolerate this behavior. Publicly, this city's leadership, police force and citizens claim to want racial harmony, but actions speak louder than words.

Ed Irby, Forest Park

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City leaders behave like schoolchildren

What is it with the administration of the city of Cincinnati that they have to dredge up a 6-year-old videotape containing a comment by a police officer, barely audible, alleged to be a racial slur? ("Lemmie wants '98 'slur' investigated," Jan 10). Don't these people have something better to do with their precious, expensive time than continue to feed the fires of racial discontent with a 6-year-old allegation? Their behavior smacks of grade-schoolers trying to curry favor with the teacher by ratting on each other. The city is already a national laughingstock and dying because of behavior such as this. Grow up.

If the city administrators dealt with the exodus of tourist-friendly establishments as zealously as they pursued perceived racial affronts, they'd really being doing their jobs.

Frank Miller, Mason

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Smitherman seems to want profiling

Councilman Christopher Smitherman wants to know where all of the members of the Police Department went to high school. He thinks there might be a connection between a particular high school and some of the alleged abuses by the Police Department.

What if the information he receives shows that graduates of a certain high school becoming police officers are more prone to abuses than others? Would he then want all of the officers from that school trained or treated differently?

This situation seems familiar. I believe it is called profiling.

Chris McKeown, Montgomery

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Go after real issue: drug-related crime

When Police Chief Tom Streicher was asked to characterize black-on-black crime, his answer was for all races and genders to come together. I guess he's afraid to tell it like it is.

The truth is that most of our crime is caused by young black males, who are taking drugs or selling drugs. You have to get tough on this group of people. Stop warning and slapping them on the wrist, and put them away for a long time.

Wake up, Cincinnati, and get tough on drug-related crime.

Steve Dickerson, Mason




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