Tuesday, October 15, 2002

Background on officers:
All on force 6 years or less



By Robert Anglen
and Jane Prendergast
The Cincinnati Enquirer

The eight police officers accused of using excessive force in the 2002 death of Roger Owensby Jr. in police custody have been on the force six years or less and range in age from 29 to 36.

One, Robert "Blaine'' Jorg, quit the force this year to take a job in Pierce Township. The police powers of two others have been suspended; one in connection with the Owensby case, the other not.

The officers were named in an internal police investigation and a report by the Office of Municipal Investigations, the city's only independent agency to investigate citizen complaints of police misconduct, officer-involved shootings and police-related custody deaths.

Robert `Blaine' Jorg

Age 31; on force 1996 to March 2002.

Disciplines: Eight-hour suspension in 1997 for missing court.

OMI cases: Four, including one shots-fired incident and complaints of excessive force and improper procedure. One case outstanding; the rest have been dismissed.

Status: Resigned from Cincinnati force to work in Clermont County.

Accusations in Owensby case: Failing to exercise due care for safety and well-being of Mr. Owensby, incorrectly applying pressure to him and failing to report use of force to a supervisor.

OMI disciplinary recommendation to city: If he were still a Cincinnati police employee, dismissal. Since he is not, barring him from future employment with Cincinnati police.

Patrick Caton

Age 36; joined force in 1997.

Disciplines: 24 hours in 2000 for DUI off-duty and having a weapon with him; reprimanded in 1999 for failing to do a thorough investigation of a custodial interference complaint.

OMI cases: 13, including citizen complaints of excessive force, unlawful arrest, excessive show of force, illegal search and discourteous treatment. OMI sustained three cases against the officer. Seven have been dismissed. Three are under investigation.

Status: Lost his police powers last week and sent to the impound lot after he was overheard on the recorder in his cruiser using a racial slur.

Accusations: Striking Mr. Owensby after he was handcuffed, failing to exercise due care for safety and well-being of Mr. Owensby and failing to report use of force to a supervisor.

OMI disciplinary recommendation to city: Dismissal.

David Hunter

Age 35; joined force in 1996.

Disciplines: None.

OMI cases: Three, including citizen complaints of excessive force and improper procedure. All have been dismissed.

Status: Works in District 3.

Accusations: Taking no action to ascertain Mr. Owensby's injuries or administer medical treatment, and failing to report use of force to a supervisor.

OMI disciplinary recommendation to city: Suspension without pay for 80 work hours.

Jason Hodge

Age 32; joined force in 1997.

Disciplines: Reprimanded in May 2001 for missing his third court hearing.

OMI cases: Two, including citizen complaints of improper procedure and harassment. Both dismissed.

Status: Works in District 1.

Accusations: Taking no action to ascertain Mr. Owensby's injuries or administer medical treatment, and failing to report use of force to a supervisor.

OMI disciplinary recommendation to city: Suspension without pay for 80 work hours.

Darren Sellers

Age 34; joined force in 1998.

Disciplines: Reprimanded in June 2001 for operating a cruiser in emergency mode without siren on; reprimanded in February 2000 for missing a third court hearing.

OMI cases: Three, including citizen complaints of threats and intimidation, unlawful arrest and excessive force. OMI recommended discipline in two cases and dismissed the third.

Status: Works in District 5.

Accusations: Taking no action to ascertain Mr. Owensby's injuries or administer medical treatment, and failing to report use of force to a supervisor.

OMI disciplinary recommendation to city: Suspension without pay for 80 work hours.

Victor Spellen

Age 34; joined force in 1999.

Disciplines: None.

OMI cases: None.

Status: Lost his police powers and was transferred to Telephone Crime Reporting Unit in May after investigators said he lied during Officer Jorg's trial about the kind of hold Officer Jorg used on Mr. Owensby. Officer Jorg was his training officer.

Accusations: Taking no action to ascertain Mr. Owensby's injuries or administer medical treatment.

OMI disciplinary recommendation to city: Suspension without pay for 40 work hours.

Brian Brazile

Age 32; joined force in 1999.

Disciplines: None.

OMI cases: None.

Status: Works in District 4.

Accusations: Taking no action to ascertain Mr. Owensby's injuries or administer medical treatment.

OMI disciplinary recommendation to city: Suspension without pay for 40 work hours.

Abraham Lawson

Age 29; joined force in 1997.

Disciplines: None.

OMI cases: One, a citizen complaint of harassment. A police supervisor counseled the officer.

Status: Works undercover in the department's vice unit.

Accusations: OMI did not formally accuse Officer Lawson with a policy violation, but City Manager Valerie Lemmie did accuse him of improper use of force, failure of good behavior and neglect of duty.

OMI disciplinary recommendation to city: None.



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