United Church of Christ joins boycott of Cincinnati

Posted: Friday, June 14, 2002

CLEVELAND (AP) -- The Cleveland-based United Church of Christ has joined an economic boycott against another Ohio city: Cincinnati. The boycott campaign resulted from the fatal police shooting last year of an unarmed black man that provoked days of rioting.

The denomination wants members to shun the city for business meetings and leisure activities.

Church President John H. Thomas said the boycott ''is important to pressure leadership toward meaningful change.''

Boycott leaders are demanding millions of dollars for inner-city programs and fairer treatment of blacks by police.

Cincinnati officials in April signed an agreement with the U.S. Department of Justice to tighten police policies governing use of force, enhance training and create an independent agency to investigate complaints of police brutality.

The Union of Black Episcopalians canceled plans to hold its national convention in the city this summer and entertainers Bill Cosby, Wynton Marsalis, the Temptations and the O'Jays have canceled performances.

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