Wednesday, January 17, 2001

Defense fund for officers collects more than $19,000

By Jane Prendergast
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        The legal defense fund for two indicted Cincinnati police officers has grown to more than $19,000.

        Open for 10 days, the account at the police credit union held $19,374 as of Tuesday, said Keith Fangman, president of the Fraternal Order of Police. The FOP established the fund to help pay lawyers for Officers Robert Blaine Jorg and Patrick Caton, who face criminal charges in the Nov. 7 death of suspect Roger Owensby.

        “This amount is indicative of the wide range of support that these two officers have throughout the community,” Mr. Fangman said.

        Most donations have ranged from $100 to $200, he said.

        Officer Jorg, 28, was indicted Jan. 4 for involuntary manslaughter, a felony, and misdemeanor assault. Officer Caton, 34, faces an assault charge.

        Exactly what they are accused of doing during Mr. Owensby's arrest has not been specified. The coroner concluded Mr. Owensby died of mechanical asphyxiation, possibly from choking or compression of the chest while the officers tried to subdue him.

        Both officers have remained on paid administrative leave since the death in Roselawn, but city officials are considering taking away Officer Jorg's pay. The FOP opposes that, saying the officer hasn't been convicted of anything.

        Mr. Fangman said the officers have been told their legal bills, together, could hit $100,000.

        Donations are accepted at the Cincinnati Police Credit Union, 959 W. Eighth St., Cincinnati 45203.


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