CINCINNATI -- Something happened in the West End Sunday, but residents at City West Town Homes struggled to agree on what, exactly, it was. It involved crowds, noise and one-on-one boxing matches. Apart from that, opinions are split.
According to Nalisha Brown, it was a community anti-violence initiative: A local organization called 160 Productions encouraging residents to "put down the guns, pick up the gloves" and box one another instead.
"It was just a neighborhood thing," said Dearis Ferguson, an organizer. "We was promoting on social media, and it turned out the whole city came out."
According to complainants at a Tuesday meeting of the West End Community Council, it was an organized series of brawls that blocked Hopkins Street for hours and left lawns littered with broken bottles after the crowd suddenly scattered.
"There was a little boy who lives on my street, sitting on my porch last night with a gun," said Erin Crouch, who attended the meeting to voice her complaint.
Facebook posts with the hashtag #60Promotions indicated that the event, which the organizers called Hop Block Fights, was pre-arranged and that onlookers were also betting on the fights they watched.
After a Wednesday meeting with Cincinnati police, Ferguson and his fellow organizers agreed to end the fights on Hopkins Street. Instead, they’ll work to turn 60 Productions into a non-profit, get the appropriate permits and find a more accepting venue for their venture.
"We’re basically trying to build it up," he said. "Make sure every aspect, every checklist the city gives us, everything on the checklist is taken care of. … Safety is the number one key now."