April 27, 2011

RIP Bones

Ok, so this isn't the usual post you might expect here. I think it is important though and am sharing it for a friend.

August 28, 1970 - April 18, 2011

In the early morning hours of April 18, 2011 a 911 call was placed reporting a 'cutting' in the Northside neighborhood of Cincinnati.  David Hebert, affectionately known as 'Bones', was named as a suspect.  Soon after the 911 call was placed David and a companion were apprehended by officers.  Within minutes,Sgt. Andrew Mitchell of the Cincinnati Police Department fired two rounds into David Hebert’s chest, killing him instantly.  David was an intelligent, creative man with many longtime friends who trusted him and sought out his company. He was a drummer in many punk/alternative bands in Cincinnati, Ohio and Portland, Oregon over the last twenty years. David Hebert had no violent criminal record, no history of robbery, assault or resisting arrest. Statements released by police and city officials have left many unanswered questions in the community :

• Acting Cincinnati Police Chief Richard Janke defended Mitchell’s use of deadly force as appropriate in a televised press conference only hours after it occurred. Why did the Acting Chief reach this conclusion so quickly when at least three investigations of the incident had just started and are likely to continue for several weeks?

• Sergeant Andrew Mitchell’s professional history with the Cincinnati Police Department includes a string of incidents where his use of force had extremely negative consequences. He has used inappropriate force on a non-aggressive suspect without proper warning.  An internal investigation found that, in at least one case: “Mitchell did not follow procedures or training. He did not verify there was a crime, and didn't get a suspect description.” Why was Mitchell promoted to Sergeant, a supervisory role, when he has a history of disregarding police protocol for apprehending suspects?

• Why did the officers approach a man they considered to be armed instead of securing and searching him before trying to question him?

• As an officer arriving as back up, Sgt. Mitchell was one step removed from the initial stop. How long was he on the scene before choosing the most extreme possible use of force? Why were non-lethal options not used?

• No official information has been released regarding Jason Weller, the man who made the initial 911 call claiming he had been robbed and assaulted by Mr. Hebert.  Were any attempts made to verify that a crime actually occurred before police began searching for a suspect? Was Mr. Weller questioned by police?

• Why was the knife that Mr. Hebert allegedly used to threaten officers found more than 25 feet from his body?  Why do pictures released of the knife show the blade plunged several inches into the ground?  Would someone with a blood alcohol level of 0.33 be conscious enough to remove a knife from his pocket, extend the blade and move towards police? 

• Where are the digital video recordings of the incident? Department policies require officers to ensure recorders are operational before leaving to patrol and that all arrests be recorded. Why are police claiming there is no video of this incident when police reported there were at least four officers on the scene at the time of the shooting?

• Was any attempt made to save David Hebert’s life after he was shot? Who pronounced him dead? When were ambulances called? Why was Mr. Hebert’s body left until after 6:00 am, uncovered and in full view of neighbors (and their children) for more than three hours?

David Hebert’s family, friends, and neighbors want to make certain that the City of Cincinnati and Cincinnati Police Department investigate his death carefully and openly. If investigators find errors in police procedure and protocol, evidence of negligence or corruption, the City and Police Department must take the necessary steps to address these problems.  
We can not bring Bones back, be we can work to ensure that it does not happen again.


Angie Davidson said...

Thank you very much for your informative post, and for taking a stand against the Cincinnati PD. I was one of his friends, and I can't tell you how much I appreciate this.

Lord of Filth said...

You are very welcome Angie, it's the least I could do.


Rigel Behrens said...

I echo Angie's sentiments, and we appreciate your willingness to help get the word out. Bones was a non-conformist and free spirit, friendly, open, and would greet strangers with a smile. Without the exposure you and others are providing, this tragic incident would have been swept under the rug the day it happened.

Hush said...

RIP Bones. I'll never forget you, your personality, or your amazing teeth. <3

You will be missed.