This is a partial transcript from The O'Reilly Factor, July 20, 2001.
BILL O'REILLY, HOST: In the second Unresolved Problems segment tonight, an explosive story out of Cincinnati, Ohio. Last April, riots over alleged police brutality and the shooting deaths by cops of 15 black men in six years resulted in more than 40 people injured, nearly $2 million in property damage, and national embarrassment for the city of Cincinnati.
Since this time, crime has exploded in black neighborhoods as police have stopped traffic stops and proactive investigations. The stats are incredible. Since the riots, 77 people have been shot in Cincinnati, 76 of them black, compared with 11 in the comparable months last year.
Joining us now from Cincinnati is Damon Lynch, the senior pastor of the New Prospect Baptist Church. The police will never admit this, Pastor. But I'm going to tell you that I firmly believe this is payback time. From the Cincinnati Police Department to the black community and the black neighborhoods saying, "Hey, you're going to give us a hard time, we're not going to do very much."
DAMON LYNCH, SENIOR PASTOR, NEW PROSPECT BAPTIST CHURCH: I think it's clearly payback time. And I think they have admitted it. The police here have said they are shell-shocked. They're shell-shocked because there's a Department of Justice investigation into the Cincinnati police force. There's an FBI Investigation in the police force. There's a racial profiling lawsuit that's been filed against them. And they feel as if the community and the political leaders haven't supported them.
LYNCH: So their very words are that we are shell-shocked as a division. And we are not proactively policing. They have admitted that.
O'REILLY: Well, it's more than that, though. Shell-shocked is a euphemism. What they are is bitter and angry.
LYNCH: You're right. They're bitter and angry.
O'REILLY: The cops, and 28 percent of them are black, the cops are saying themselves, "I'm not going to put myself at risk for these people anymore. They don't like me. They can go it on their own." And now what you have is the Wild West in Cincinnati. This is unbelievable. These statistics, in three months, 77 people shot, 76 black.
LYNCH: Right. Yeah, predominantly in the community where I pastor.
O'REILLY: Absolutely. Now, I think the black community has to bear some responsibility for the lawlessness that is occurring right now. Am I wrong?
LYNCH: The responsibility we bear is the responsibility we're taking is that for the last 10 nights, the black community has been on the streets, "Over the Rhine," telling people that black-on-black violence, which is basically what it is, is unacceptable. And so the immunity has stepped up as the police have stepped back.
O'REILLY: Is black-on-white violence acceptable?
LYNCH: Well, it' black-on-black violence that's happening right now in Cincinnati.
O'REILLY: No, I mean, but wouldn't it be better if you went off and said all violence is unacceptable, rather than black-on-black?
LYNCH: Yeah. I can say now that all violence is unacceptable. But the people I'm talking to are black. And the violence that's being perpetrated is black-on-black.
O'REILLY: Right. So now...
LYNCH: And that is an issue that has to be addressed.
O'REILLY: I'm glad you're doing that. And I think that's a noble thing to do. But here, this bolsters the police contention that in what they tried to do and were effective in doing, if you look at the statistics, was proactive policing. They were aggressively targeting neighborhoods, black neighborhoods, where there are a lot of bad guys. And they were succeeding in keeping those bad guys under control until the community said, "We don't like this proactive stuff. It's racist. It's too aggressive. Get out of here. Stop it." And the police said, "Fine, we'll stop."
LYNCH: Yeah, I think the until was until they took Tim Thomas' life, the 19-year-old unarmed black man and until they choked Roger Owensby to death, of which policemen are now currently under indictment...
O'REILLY: And they should be. They should be.
O'REILLY: But the three nights of rioting said to the other policemen, "Hey, this is an overreaction to this. Let the system work. If these policemen unjustly shot that man and choked the other man, we have a system in place. But if you're going to condemn all of us, we're not going to help you out." And they're not helping you out, Pastor. And now you got chaos.
LYNCH: It's obvious. They're not helping us out. They're not helping the city out. They're not helping themselves out.
The African American community is not anti-policing. We're not anti- police. What the community is, is anti-bad policing. And I think that there are examples of good policing, community-oriented policing solutions that allow you to be proactive on crime and not step on people's civil rights.
O'REILLY: I agree with that. I don't think you have to trample people. But I think the community in Cincinnati, and it happened here in New York City as well with the Amadou Diallo shooting. And the same thing happened. They disbanded the street crimes unit. And, boom, street crime went up. You see, my philosophy is that black Americans, African- Americans, have to almost police themselves.
LYNCH: I totally agree, totally agree.
O'REILLY: And I've been called a racist for that. I've been called everything. And I'm saying to you, listen, Pastor, you have to solve your own problems in your own neighborhoods with the drugs and the lawlessness and the fractured families. You can't expect white society to come in and do it.
LYNCH: I totally agree. The answer to crime in communities is never more cops. The answer is stronger communities. And the stronger your communities are, the more you eradicate crime.
Now, you cannot do it alone. Police officers get paid to be there and to do that job. My contention is that they ought to be the second line of defense in a community. The first line are those who live in that community, who have a pride and a stake in that community.
The second line of defense is law enforcement. When law enforcement is the first line of defense, then you have the tensions and the poor police-community relations that we currently have here in Cincinnati.
O'REILLY: Why are there so many bad guys in Cincinnati?
LYNCH: I have no idea. And I actually...
O'REILLY: Don't you know?
LYNCH: ... out of the numbers of people that are in Cincinnati, the bad guys are not that many. It's oftentimes repeat offenders.
O'REILLY: Seventy-seven people shot in three months in a small, comparatively small, city.
LYNCH: Right. And what you have right now is an aberration. When you look at the numbers compared to last year -- and I think you said it was like 11 from last year to this year...
LYNCH: ... we have an aberration right now. And...
O'REILLY: I don't know about that. We're all looking -- the nation is looking at video of these riots and rampant destruction and looting. And I don't know about that, Pastor. I mean, maybe you're right.
LYNCH: The riots were an aberration. That's the first riot in Cincinnati since 1968.
O'REILLY: It seems to me that you have a problem, we have a problem, in Cincinnati with a minority that is totally out of control.
LYNCH: Exactly. And when you say minority, you mean a small number of people.
O'REILLY: Yeah, a minority within the minority community.
LYNCH: Thank you.
O'REILLY: We all know that most black people in Cincinnati are law- abiding good folks.
O'REILLY: But these other people are overriding these folks. They are winning the battle, Pastor.
LYNCH: Exactly. And that's why the community is out in force. We'll be out in force again tonight. One of the things that has supposedly happened is during the unrest, pawn shops were broken into, guns were stolen. There are guns are on the street.
I understand the mayor is going to implement a gun buyback program. The police are coming back out in force they say next week in some kind of task force. Hopefully, Cincinnati will turn it around.
O'REILLY: Hopefully. Thanks, Pastor. We appreciate you.
LYNCH: All right. Thank you.
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