Black civil servant to head Cincinnati’s public safety department
[Cincinnati, OH]

April 18, 2001
(CINCINNATI) – As Cincinnati struggles to recover from rioting sparked by a police shooting, the city manager has appointed an African-American to supervise the public safety department.

Assistant Safety Director S. Gregory Baker, who has worked for the city for 20 years, praised the “tremendous effort” police officers and firefighters put in last week. Baker was named acting safety director Tuesday.

On Monday, city officials lifted a curfew imposed after several nights of looting, window breaking and fire-setting. The violence, carried out mainly by young blacks, was touched off by the death of Timothy Thomas. Thomas, who was unarmed, was shot by a white police officer who said he believed the 19-year-old was reaching for a gun.

Mayor Charles Lukens also announced the formation of a commission to examine race relations in Cincinnati.

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