The fatal shooting of Maurice Kennedy, 17, has galvanized the Cincinnati community of Price Hill, reports the Cincinnati Enquirer. At least four meetings are scheduled this week – along with another Oct. 21 – at which city officials and residents are expected to discuss a recent spate of shootings. Another teenager was shot Friday night about a half block from where Kennedy was killed.
Residents and people who travel the stretch where Kennedy was killed report a gradual change in the scenery in recent years – more groups of teenagers hanging out in front of businesses, more litter, more vacant storefronts. Police Captain Drew Raabe has tried for more than a year to curb the teens’ hangouts by regular roundups of curfew violators. Much of what residents are complaining about isn’t reflected in crime statistics. Between 2002 and last year, reports of serious crime in West Price Hill dropped by more than 10 percent. Demographics in the neighborhood have changed. Between 1990 and 2000, according to the U.S. Census Bureau, the home-ownership rate dropped from 48.7 percent to 45.4 percent, the number of vacant homes jumped 36 percent to 949, and the number of federally subsidized housing vouchers soared 176 percent, to 149. At the same time, the population decreased by 13 percent. Four people were arrested Friday in connection with Kennedy’s death, including a 22-year-old alleged triggerman. Three juveniles also have been charged with tampering with evidence or obstructing official business.