my morning had an interesting start. as i was driving to work, i heard my friend, kevin osbourne, on the local npr station. he’s a reporter for the cincinnati post, and has been covering the recent story of nathaniel jones. for those of you who are not from this area, mr. jones was killed while in police custody over the weekend. apparently, he was displaying disorderly conduct at a local white castle (fast-food place) and the police began beating him with their batons pretty violently. mr. jones had heart problems and was also under the influence of a few drugs, but there are a lot of unanswered questions. yesterday the county coroner ruled his death a homicide. the police in this city have a history of unexplained deaths of people in their custody, and this is getting the city into a bit of an uproar. you can find a number of articles about the climate here.
the death was the top story when i got back from toronto. yet another incident to remind me of the fact that this city needs people to dig in and stay here for awhile. i’m having flashbacks to the riots that took place right before easter in 2001, soon before i left cincinnati to go to india. i will admit, i have a very difficult time trusting the police here-or anywhere, for that matter.
anyway, back to kevin. he’s one of the many people i built a relationship with when i worked at the coffeeshop last year. it’s so cool to get paid to talk to people all day! our shop was next door to the post offices, and kevin would trade me a free paper for coffee every day. he usually came in with craig, who has since moved back to new jersey and gotten married. craig was an agnostic who had converted to judaism. his rabbi told him that jews believe in only one god, and since he didn’t believe in more than one god (because he wasn’t sure if he believed in god at all), his agnosticism wasn’t a hurdle in converting. hmm. but craig was very kind and fun. he smoked his first cigarette ever with me one day when i gave him a clove. kevin is very different from craig, as i was a bit more of a party-er then, and we would compare stories after the weekends. kevin was a gay boy who was raised southern baptist, so we had a little understanding of each other’s culture…i miss them. it was a happy thing to hear his voice in my car this morning.
back to work yet again.