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Angelo calls a community breakfast to deter racial unrest



Published: Sat, June 23, 2001 @ 12:00 a.m.



The police chief said the racial riots in Cincinnati could happen here.

By PEGGY SINKOVICH

VINDICATOR TRUMBULL STAFF

WARREN -- In the wake of the Cincinnati racial riots, Mayor Hank Angelo has decided to have a community meeting in hopes of heading off similar unrest here.

The mayor has called a "community awareness breakfast" for 9 a.m. Monday at DiLucia's Restaurant on Elm Road.

& quot;Our concern is not that we expect something to happen, & quot; Angelo said Friday. & quot;We want to be proactive so we can deter any kind of incident that would jeopardize the citizens. & quot;

Guest list: He has invited numerous people to the function, including all community leaders, representatives from all 104 churches in the city, officials from the local chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People and the Warren-Trumbull Urban League.

The mayor said he tried to be inclusive when he invited community leaders, but noted anyone he forgot can attend a second meeting. A date has not been set for that meeting.

"What happened in Cincinnati could happen here. We are not immune to something like that happening in our city," said Police Chief John Mandopoulos.

Causes: The Cincinnati riots happened after Timothy Thomas, who was black, was shot to death by a white Cincinnati police officer April 7. The shooting sparked a week of what was described as the city's worst riots in 30 years. The unrest prompted city leaders and residents to search for solutions to the racial divide in an effort to prevent any repeat eruptions.

Angelo said he wants all community leaders to discuss the riots and "develop a strategic plan to deter such an incident."

The hope is that out of the meetings a network will form to ensure the right people are in touch in case something does happen, Angelo said.

"I think this meeting is a proactive approach and something we should have," Mandopoulos said.

The mayor said Cliff Johnson, a former city school teacher and principal, will facilitate the meeting. Johnson also conducts diversity seminars, city officials said.




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