Black Activist Shot in Ohio After Speech

Police charged a man who had a long-standing dispute with a black activist with shooting him Wednesday afternoon across the street from City Hall.

Michael Bailey, a city bus driver who goes by the name Gen. Kabaka Oba, was shot in the leg, arm and chest shortly after addressing the city council, police said. He was in critical condition after surgery at University Hospital.

Howard Beatty, 52, surrendered to police and was charged with felonious assault a few hours after the shooting. Beatty's lawyer said his client acted in self-defense after the activist threatened him.

Police said Bailey had a restraining order to keep Beatty at least 500 feet away. It wasn't clear what led Bailey to seek the restraining order.

Bailey, who has claimed to represent groups called the Special Forces and the Black Fist, frequently addressed city council. Although his remarks often were strident, Mayor Mark Mallory said, Bailey did not say anything unusual during Wednesday's meeting.

Beatty's lawyer, Ken Lawson, said the activist had threatened his client around the time of a local TV appearance Sunday. He said the two men met Wednesday by chance as Bailey left City Hall.

"That's when (Beatty) felt he was going to be shot or seriously hurt," Lawson said.

Council was still in session when members heard the shots fired across the street. The mayor then adjourned the meeting.

"This was a targeted assault," he said. "We just want to make sure people understand that and know that downtown is safe and City Hall is safe."