EVENDALE, Ohio – Some residents are angry that a police officer whose fatal shooting of a black man sparked three days of rioting last year has been hired in their Cincinnati suburb.
About 100 people met Sunday to air grievances over the hiring of Stephen Roach, who starts work in the predominantly white village of 3,000 on Jan. 21. Roach, who is white, resigned Friday from the Cincinnati police force after more than four years.
"He is not welcome in our neighborhoods," said Dr. Randy Cox, 43, a family physician. "There's people of all cultures and ethnic backgrounds here, and we all like each other and we're not going to be divided because of officer Roach."
Mayor Douglas Lohmeier said Roach was the best of 31 candidates and stood out in interviews, a written test, a background check, physical and psychological examinations.
Roach had an unlisted number and could not be reached for comment Monday. His lawyer called the critical residents "misguided" and said they didn't understand fully what had occurred.
Roach was acquitted in September of misdemeanor charges, including negligent homicide, for the April 7 shooting death of Timothy Thomas, 19, an unarmed black man who fled police.