Thursday, November 30, 2000

Officers cleared in '99 shooting

Report: Procedures followed in suspect's death

By William A. Weathers
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        Four Cincinnati police officers who shot and killed a bank robbery suspect at a University of Cincinnati construction site in August 1999 have been cleared of any departmental wrongdoing.

        An internal investigation report released Wednesday states the officers followed correct police procedure during the fatal shooting and exonerates them of any departmental rules violations.

        The Hamilton County Prosecutor's Office had previously cleared the officers of any criminal wrongdoing in the incident. James King, 44, of Alaska Avenue in Avondale, was killed at 139 W. Martin Luther King Drive when the four officers fired their service revolvers at him.

        The officers were Sgt. Randy Webb, Specialist Jason Drach, Officer Rachel Folk and Officer Adrian Gibson.

        Mr. King is one of 13 people — all African-American — who have died in confrontations with Cincinnati police since 1995.

        The internal report detailed the shooting incident as follows:

        At 2:48 p.m. on Aug. 20, 1999, the police communications center received a report of a bank robbery in progress at Fifth Third Bank at 30 W. Corry St. The robber had fired a shot inside the bank.

        Civilians witnesses told police the robber left the bank and got into a gray 1984 Chevrolet Celebrity in a parking lot at 1 W. Corry. Officers responded and the suspect left the lot and drove away with police in pursuit.

        Mr. King stopped the car at the construction site and officers ordered him to throw his gun out and get out of the vehicle.

        He got out of the car, turned to face the officers and pointed a gun at them. The four officers opened fire and struck him nine times.


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