Monday, April 09, 2001

Police officers' defense fund tops $60K




By Jane Prendergast
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        As two indicted Cincinnati police officers wait to go on trial in the death of a suspect, supporters continue to contribute money to pay the officers' lawyers.

        Donations to the legal defense fund for officers Robert “Blaine” Jorg and Patrick Caton have slowed since the initial $38,000 in the first month.

Jorg
Jorg
Caton
Caton
        But contributions continue, putting the fund over $60,000, Fraternal Order of Police President Keith Fangman said.

        Officer Jorg remains suspended without pay, charged with involuntary manslaughter and assault in the Nov. 7 death of Roger Owensby Jr., who asphyxiated in police custody. City officials suspended Officer Jorg's pay after he was indicted on the felony charge. His trial is set for May 10.

        He asked Chief Tom Streicher for permission to teach physical fitness and defensive tactics at a law-enforcement training facility in Butler County, Mr. Fangman said. But permission was denied, the union leader said, because Officer Jorg's arrest powers are suspended.

        Mr. Fangman said the denial makes no sense because Officer Jorg wouldn't need his arrest powers to teach those subjects.

        That denial will be part of a grievance filed by the FOP, saying it is unfair to punish him financially because he remains innocent until proven guilty.

        Officer Caton, charged with assault, a misdemeanor, remains on duty, working in the impound lot.

        Two more fund-raisers are scheduled: April 17, Blue Note Cafe, Price Hill; and April 24, Metropolis, Forest Fair Mall. Donations also are being accepted at the Cincinnati Police Credit Union, 959 W. Eighth St., Cincinnati 45203.

       



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