Extra Cincinnati police officers will be on hand for a planned protest rally Sunday following the shooting at a peaceful protest in Dallas Thursday night that left five police officers dead.
Cincinnati Mayor John Cranley says officers will be taking added precautions in general to protect themselves and the community. "There will be additional security measures," he says. "People have the right to protest, it's a First Amendment right. Our officers will continue to protect that right. We're going to be making extra preparations for a protest planned over the weekend, which they have every right to do. And, of course, we have the NAACP coming in two weeks time, so we will be prepared for that too, to protect the safety of every participant in those conferences and to protect the lives of our police officers."
The City is ordering flags to fly at half staff until further notice to honor the Dallas shooting victims. City leaders joined with members of the Church of God in Christ, which is holding its annual conference in Cincinnati this week, to condemn the attacks on Dallas police officers Thursday night during a peaceful Black Lives Matter protest.
"All the people of Cincinnati send their heartfelt prayers and thoughts to the families of the fallen and the injured police officers in Dallas, and to law enforcement and their families around the country," said Cranley during a news conference Friday.
Bishop Charles Blake leads the Church of God in Christ. "The crisis that we now face calls for us to stop and evaluate and pray and ask that God would give us guidance and direction during this time, that we might find a way for ourselves, for our children, for our cities, and for our people."
Local NAACP President Bob Richardson says the recent violence will be a focus at the upcoming national convention July 16 - 20. "That was a hot topic on the agenda already of criminal justice reform, etc. and this has just raised the level of that conversation even more."
Cranley also reflected on the city's 2001 riots which led to police reform. "Cincinnati is proud of the progress we've made with civil rights and police/community relations. We will continue to talk to each other, care for each other, and worry about all lives... five police officers were murdered (Thursday) as well as the incidences earlier this week in Baton Rouge and Minnesota."