|The 15 Black Men Shot by Cincinnati Police
Last Updated April 24, 2002
|Who is the Victim
Sympathizers with the black Cincinnati rioters have made much of the fact that the police have killed 15 black men in that city since 1995. None of these sympathizers have mentioned that 98% of the Cincinnati officers killed in the line of duty have been killed by black males during the past 30 years. Cincinnati is 48% black.
Below is a brief description of the 15 black males killed by Cincinnati police since 1995. The death of each of these young men is tragic. In fairness to the Cincinnati police, however, the circumstances of these tragedies must be adequately taken into account before judging the actions of the police. [The victim descriptions, below, are excerpted from an excellent report by Cincinnati Enquirer writers Dan Klepal and Cindi Andrews published April 15, 2001. See link near bottom of page.]
On Feb. 1, 1995 Harvey Price killed a 15 year old girl -- his girlfriends daughter -- with an axe; he kept police at bay for hours; he refused to surrender; and he was ultimately shot and killed by a SWAT team member when Price began advancing on the officers with a raised knife.
The officer was cleared of any wrongdoing.
Darryll C. Price
Mr. Price was high on cocaine and died of respiratory arrest or an irregular heartbeat after scuffling with police. The police encounter with Mr. Price began when Price was beating on a car in traffic, threatening to shoot someone. When police attempted to intervene, a scuffle ensued in which Mr. Price received some minor cuts and abrasions.
Price was handcuffed and shackled, yet continued struggling as rescue workers attempted to administer first aid for his cuts. When he suddenly stopped moving, the rescue team began administering CPR but he died within the hour.
The medical examiners report indicated that Mr. Price suffered from a sudden death caused by "agitated delirium with restraint". The condition is usually manifested in drug abusers or the mentally ill. The autopsy revealed that the cuts and bruises Price suffered during his fight with the police did not contribute to his death.
The police officers were cleared of any wrongdoing.
3: Lorenzo Collins
Lorenzo Collins had a history of mental illness. He was threatening police with a brick, and two officers fired their weapons, hitting Collins twice. He died 5 days later.
The police officers were cleared of any wrongdoing by both the FBI and Department of Justice.
Subsequently, the Collins family filed a wrongful death lawsuit and was awarded $200,000.
4: Daniel Williams
Previous convictions: domestic violence, felonious assault.
In an unprovoked attack, Mr. Williams shot Police Officer Kathleen Conway four times in the legs and abdomen with a .357 Magnum before she was able to return the fire. She fired twice, killing him. The bizarre incident began when Williams waved down Officer Conways cruiser. When she stopped he punched her in the face through the open window, then shot her four times.
No one has offered any explanation of Mr. Williams actions. It was ruled a justifiable shooting.
Officer Conway required extended medical leave to recover from her severe injuries and has since left the police force.
5: Jermaine Lowe
Criminal history: Convicted felon; parole violator; outstanding warrant for armed robbery.
Mr. Lowe was driving a stolen car and, in attempting to evade pursuing police, crashed. At that point Lowe jumped from the car and fired repeatedly at police officers until his gun ran out of bullets. The officers fired back, killing Lowe.
The shootout occurred in the same block where two other police officers had been previously gunned down.
The officers were cleared of any wrongdoing.
6: Randy Black
Mr. Black robbed his credit union on the morning of July 17. He used a handgun in the commission of the robbery.
When police arrived on the scene, Randy Black ran. During the chase he threw a brick at police. But when cornered by the pursuing officer who attempted to place Mr. Black under arrest, Mr. Black grabbed a two-by-four with nails sticking out of the end and came at the officer with it. The officer shot him dead.
Mr. Black had ditched the handgun he used during the robbery while running from the police.
The officer was absolved of any wrongdoing.
7: Michael Carpenter
Michael Carpenter attracted the attention of police because he was driving a car with expired license plates.
When the police pulled Mr. Carpenter over, he refused to get out of the car. When Carpenter reached for the glove box the officer tried to drag him out of the car. Carpenter then allegedly drove 15 feet, dragging the officer with him.
Another officer standing behind the car then saw the backup lights come on, and he fired 9 times, killing Michael Carpenter.
One officer was exonerated of any wrongdoing by the U.S. Department of Justice, by the county prosecutor, and by the police departments internal investigation.
The other officer received a written reprimand and was ordered to take 40 hours of retraining. He has since left the force.
8: James King
Mr. James King used a gun in robbing the Fifth Third Bank. He fired a warning shot in the bank to show he meant business, and employees handed over a bag of cash to him. Mr. King fled the scene in a car with police in close pursuit.
When Mr. King reached a dead end, he jumped out of the car with the gun in his hand. Police ordered him to drop his weapon, which he refused to do. They shot and killed him.
The officers involved were cleared of any wrongdoing.
9: Carey Tompkins
Police responded to a 911 call from Carey Tompkins girlfriends apartment. On the 911 tape Mr. Tompkins can be heard shouting obscenities, and the voice of his girlfriends father can be clearly heard asking Tompkins why he brought a gun and why he pointed the gun at the woman.
When police arrived, an officer entered the apartment and was confronted by Mr. Tompkins, who had the gun in his waistband. The officer struggled with Mr. Tompkins for the gun. Carey Tompkins was shot dead during the struggle.
10: Alfred Pope
Criminal Background: 18 felony charges (including weapons and assault charges), resulting in 5 convictions.
On the day of his death, Mr. Pope and an accomplice beat and robbed three victims in an apartment building. Witnesses reported hearing shots fired.
Police responded and chased Mr. Pope who drew a gun and pointed it at police. The officers fired multiple times, killing Mr. Pope.
The officers were cleared of any wrongdoing.
11: Courtney Mathis
Know one really knows what motivated this 12 year old child to steal a relatives car, to resist arrest, to drag an officer to his death, and ultimately to be killed by the officer who died.
On this fateful evening 12 year old Courtney left his parents home and stole a relatives car. A police officer saw the boy in the car at a convenience store and asked to see his drivers license.
Courtney tried to flee by putting the car into reverse. The officer reached into the car and either tried to turn off the ignition or shift the car into neutral. The officer became caught in the steering wheel and was dragged 800 feet. Fearing for his life, the officer finally managed to shoot the boy in the chest.
The police officer died almost instantly after becoming dislodged from the car and hitting his head. 12 year old Courtney Mathis died several hours later after somehow managing to drive home.
No charges were filed against the dead officer.
12: Roger Owensby Jr.
Roger Owensby Jr. was wanted on outstanding arrest warrants. When police spotted him at a gas station they attempted to arrest Owensby, but he fled. Police tackled him, sprayed him with pepper spray or a similar product, handcuffed him, and put him in the back of the cruiser.
Mr. Owensby was found unconscious a short time later. He subsequently died of suffocation.
A grand jury indicted two of the officers involved in the Owensby case, but as of 4/15/01 the officers had not been tried or convicted in a court of law of any wrongdoing.
13: Jeffrey Irons
Jeffrey Irons grabbed a police officers gun and shot the officer in the hand when the officer tried to apprehend Irons for stealing from a supermarket.
Another officer who witnessed the incident then shot and killed Mr. Irons before he could fire again.
Mr. Irons had been staying in a homeless shelter at the time of the incident.
As of April 15, 2001 the Irons incident was still under investigation by the U.S. Department of Justice, the U.S. Attorney's Office and the FBI.
14: Adam Wheeler
Criminal History: Twice convicted and served jail time on both occasions for possession of drugs; wanted on 3 felony warrants at the time of his death on Jan. 31, 2001.
An officer responded to a drug complaint against Adam Wheeler on Jan. 31, 2001. When the officer arrived at Wheelers apartment Mr. Wheeler slammed the door in the officers face. Wheeler reportedly screamed "You want a war? You got a war!" and then fired six shots from his gun. During the ensuing battle, police shot and killed Mr. Wheeler. One officer received non-life threatening injuries during the incident.
15: Timothy Thomas
Criminal History: Over one-dozen outstanding misdemeanor arrest warrants. Mr. Thomas had twice previously eluded police who had been attempting to take him into custody.
On April 7 two police officers saw and recognized the fugitive Mr. Thomas in one of Cincinnatis most dangerous neighborhoods. Thomas ran away, and was pursued by the officers, who called for backup. In all, twelve responding officers joined the chase for Mr. Thomas.
One of the responding officers encountered the fleeing suspect (Timothy Thomas) at the end of an alley. The officer testified that the suspect was reaching for something in his waistband, and the officer thought his life was in danger. The officer fired one shot in what he thought was self-defense, and the shot killed the fleeing suspect.
As of 4/15/01, all the evidence in this case has been sealed and is not available for public scrutiny.
The death of Timothy Thomas resulted in a week of violent protests by blacks which resulted in over one million dollars in property damage, as well as black-against-white violence against several white citizens.
(Excerpted from the story by Dan Klepal and Cindi Andrews in the Cincinnati Enquirer on April 15, 2001)
[Last known link to Enquirer story: http://www.cincinow.com/specials/city_in_distress/news/story46.shtml ]