African American Perceptions about Crime in Cincinnati, Ohio since the 2001 Riots: Over a Decade Later
Keywords:African American, Cincinnati Riots, Community, Crime, Violence
AbstractIntroduction: In 1994, the city of Cincinnati, Ohio was named the most livable city in America by Places Rated Almanac (Clark, 1993). Couched within this distinction is the variance of perceived categorizations as the building blocks of a utopian-esque society such as a robust job market, low cost of living, affordable housing, highly educated populous, high arts and recreation and low crime rates. What happened within under a decade that transformed the national perception of the queen city from the most livable city in 1994 to the most recent and largest urban hot bed of racial and civil unrest since the Los Angeles riots? However, no study has explicitly assessed the perceptions of crime in Cincinnati, Ohio. The purpose of this study is to assess perceptions about crime in the local community since the 2001 Cincinnati riots. Methods: We surveyed 71 participants as part of a cross-sectional study designed to assess perception of crime in Cincinnati, Ohio. We conducted a questionnaire of a random sample of African American residents in Cincinnati, Ohio. The city of Cincinnati was chosen because of its large African American community and in part due to its long lasting history of police violence and riots in the African American community. Analyses: Most participants felt the level of crime in Cincinnati, Ohio was a very serious problem. However, a large majority of both males (22.6%) and females (10%) believed crime in Cincinnati, Ohio was somewhat serious. The remaining respondents perceived crime in Cincinnati as serious (males: 16.1%, females: 12.5%) or not at all serious (males 3.2%, females: 0%). A larger portion of the males (54.8%) than females (40%) responded that in the last 3- year’s crime in Cincinnati, Ohio relatively stayed the same. Conclusion: The results indicate that there was little difference in African American perceptions of violence in Cincinnati in 2001 and 11 years later in 2012. Most people felt that violence in Cincinnati is a very serious problem, with more than half of the respondents indicating that in the past 3 years violence in Cincinnati stayed the same. More importantly, these findings emphasize that the riots in Cincinnati is not a central event in the African American community, instead for some, it represents another example of why violence always seem to exist and there is a low morale among the African American community and police officers.
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