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Victim's mother: Roach must 'answer to God for his crimes'

New Afrikan people in Cincinnati are outraged but not surprised by the acquital of killer cop Stephen Roach in connection with the killing of Timothy Thomas last April.
Saying she wasn't surprised by the decision to acquit the police officer
who shot her son to death, Angela Leisure criticized police and predicted
that similar killings will occur.

''This situation will happen again unless changes are made,'' Mrs. Leisure
said Wednesday morning after Hamilton County Judge Ted Winkler's
decision freeing police officer Stephen Roach.

''I wanted my son to be the last, but he won't be until some changes are
made.''

She specifically criticized Roach, who fired the fatal shot into Timothy
Thomas' chest, for giving conflicting versions of the events that led to her
son's death in the early-morning hours of April 7 in an Over-the-Rhine
alley.

''Stephen Roach is a liar,'' she said. ''Stephen Roach has to answer to God
for his crimes.''

Mrs. Leisure was upset at the courtroom actions of Roach's lawyer,
Merlyn Shiverdecker, who called a series of expert witnesses to testify
that Roach believed Thomas was pointing a gun at him.

''I'm about tired of all this rhetoric,'' Mrs. Leisure said. ''He killed my son. It
still don't change anything.''

''Why is it that the officers are not responsible or accountable for their
actions?''

Stressing that there are many good officers, she vowed to never let her
son's death be forgotten.

''I will speak out nationally,'' she said. ''(I want others) to follow my
example. I lead by example. You have not once seen me put the blame on
anyone else.''

While admitting that her son was wrong for running from police, she was
not pleased when Winkler mentioned in his decision that Thomas'
background ''wasn't unblemished.''

When Winkler made that comment, her shoulders drooped, she dejectedly
dropped her chin to her chest and placed her hand over her face.

''I'm not going to let this (decision) change what I'm looking for,'' she said.

Publication date: 09-27-01
 
 

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