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Indictments Fly After Riots

Sixty-two people were indicted in the rioting over the fatal police shooting of an unarmed black man earlier this month, a prosecutor said Friday.

Charges ranged from misdemeanor resisting arrest to felonies including aggravated rioting and breaking and entering, Hamilton County prosecutor Michael Allen said.

Three days of violent protests and rioting followed the April 7 shooting of Timothy Thomas, 19. Dozens of people were injured, more than 800 arrests were made, and arson damage was estimated to top $200,000. The mayor imposed Cincinnati's first citywide curfew since the race riots of 1968.

A grand jury handling the case spent a week reviewing subpoenaed videotapes from local television stations, and Allen said he expects more indictments to follow.

At a news conference, the prosecutor showed videotaped scenes of black youths pulling a white truck driver from his cab and beating him. Allen said offenses like that could bring stiffer punishment under an Ohio "hate crimes" law.

All but one of the defendants are black.

"Those who chose to take advantage of the situation by breaking the law have got to be punished," Allen said. "The quickest way to have these acts happen again is to ignore it or to tolerate it."

On Wednesday, five people filed a federal lawsuit against Cincinnati police officers who they say attacked them without warning or provocation during the protests.

Police and city lawyers have declined to comment on the civil lawsuit, saying they hadn't seen it. The plaintiffs, who say they were hit, shot with beanbags and sprayed with eye irritant, are asking for unspecified damages.

In a separate legal development, black residents who sued in March accusing police of 30 years of racial profiling are moving toward resolving the dispute with the city.

The Cincinnati Enquirer reported Friday that an outline of the deal was presented to U.S. District Judge Susan Dlott, who must approve any agreement. Final approval will rest with the City Council, which could vote as early as next week.

The deal proposed Thursday would cost as much as $200,000, with half coming from city taxpayers and half from a private foundation that studies race relations, the newspaper said.

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