BODYCAM: Controversial Cincinnati Taser Incident

Prosecutors are looking to see if the deployment violated departmental policy

By Calibre Press  |   Dec 21, 2017


Two Cincinnati police officers used “horrible judgment” and may have violated department policy when they used their Tasers in an early August scuffle, say experts who reviewed body camera footage obtained by The Enquirer.

The Aug. 8 incident prompted an extraordinary intervention by the Hamilton County prosecutor in an external city investigation into the use of force and a major showdown between City Manager Harry Black and police union President Dan Hils.

Two experts – a professor and an expert witness/consultant – reviewed the footage for The Enquirer. The experts, both retired police officers, both said that neither the use of force nor the subsequent controversy had to happen.

They added that the officers clearly did not follow the city police policy of de-escalation when confronting two young men in their mother’s living room in Clifton Heights.

And then once things escalated, the officers never stated they were arresting the two men and instead pulled their Tasers and eventually used them – a potential violation of CPD’s official use of force policy.

The incident and its aftermath left both men with their first criminal convictions. One of them also suffered a collapsed lung during his arrest; he was recovering from back fusion surgery at the time.

CPD officials declined interview requests to discuss the incident and denied requests to interview Officers Richard Sullivan and Lawrence Johnson, citing an ongoing internal investigation.

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