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Rioting No Solution to Complaints About Police

Cal Thomas | Syndicated columnist | Friday, April 13, 2001

Rioting No Solution to Complaints About Police

The mayor of Cincinnati called out the National Guard last night to quell riots stemming from the police shooting of a 19-year-old black man. The man had been shot and killed by a white police officer who says he believed the dead man had a gun. He didn't.

Police say the man was wanted on 14 misdemeanor warrants, so he wasn't exactly an upstanding member of the community. Neither are those who are breaking windows, starting fires and stealing things. As we have seen in similar situations, some thugs use incidents like this to commit crimes.

The mayor ought to tell people the police have been instructed to shoot any rioter on sight. They can do it with their equivalent of rubber bullets, but this should not be tolerated. One police officer has been shot with a real bullet. There are mechanisms for dealing with these things. No one is entitled to riot or to damage the lives and property of others.