This feature-length documentary is about police brutality, anti-black racism, and the power of grassroots activism in Cincinnati, Ohio. From 1995-2001 there were fifteen black men killed by the Cincinnati police. The film focuses on two of those murders, Roger Owensby, Jr and Timothy Thomas. Martin Luther King said that “A riot is the cry of the unheard.” Thomas's death sparked three days of civil unrest and protests. This poignant and powerful story of injustice is told through news reports, first-person accounts and cinema verité footage of the surviving families' long-suffering battle for justice.
"Cincinnati Goddamn" creates a platform to discuss the state executions of Black men by police and gives voice to the families who have suffered in silence and have been let down by the judicial system. In addition to laying bare the emotional toll that the deaths of Roger Owensby, Jr. and Timothy Thomas took on their families, "Cincinnati Goddamn" details the tactics used by Cincinnati's grassroots activists groups to reform the police department. The Cincinnati Black United Front, a coalition of activists and clergy, was able to work with the ACLU, the city of Cincinnati and the Department of Justice to craft and implement new policies and procedures that drastically reformed the police department. This historic model of reform known as the "Collaborative Agreement" is now being widely used in police departments throughout the United States in cities such as New Orleans and Oakland.
In light of recent organizing around police brutality in Ferguson, Missouri and dozens of other cities, this film is a perfect tool for education and organizing in communities that have been over-policed and victimized by the justice system.