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Cincinnati Goddamn documentary could have lessons for Baltimore

The makers of a new documentary about riots in Cincinnati more than a decade ago hope the story they're telling can provide some context to help find a potential solution to the violence that plagued Baltimore this past week, following the death of Freddie Gray.

DOXA documentary shares story of two black men whose deaths sparked Cincinnati riots

The film Cincinnati Goddam tells the story of why people rioted in 2001 after the deaths of two black men at the hands of the police. (Cincinnati Goddam)

The makers of a new documentary about riots in Cincinnati more than a decade ago hope the story they're telling can provide some context to help find a potential solution to the violence that plagued Baltimore this past week, following the death of Freddie Gray.

"This can be a tool to start discussions about what do we want policing to look like and also how do we police our own community," April Martin, one of the filmmakers behind Cincinnati Goddamn, told The Early Edition's Rick Cluff.

The documentary tells the story behind the deaths of Roger Owensby, Jr and Timothy Thomas, two black men killed by police in un-related incidents, and the protests that erupted after they were killed. 

"I like to say the film chose me," said Martin, who was working as a production assistant at a local TV News in Cincinnati when the riots erupted in 2001.

"I just did not like how my colleagues at the news station were portraying it — the same thing that we're seeing in Baltimore, calling protesters thugs and that they're looting and they're rioting."

Martin said she felt compelled, as a black person living in Cincinnati, to tell the story of what led to those deaths — and to the deaths of the 13 other black men killed by the Cincinnati police department between 1995 and 2001.

"That community have been dis-invested in. Those people are marginalised and the police have been profiling, harassing and killing unarmed black men for years," she said.

Cincinnati Goddam was screened at DOXA, Vancouver's documentary film festival, yesterday.

To hear the full interview with April Martin, listen to the audio labelled: Cincinnati Goddamn filmmaker.

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