CINCINNATI - The University of Cincinnati has asked the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Identification and Investigation for an independent investigation surrounding the death of a student on campus over the weekend.
Everette Howard, 18, died after campus police used a Taser on him outside of Turner Hall. The incident happened after police received reports of a fight on campus. According to campus police, Howard appeared angry and refused commands from police to stop coming toward them. However, friends of Howard and witnesses say he was cooperative and followed the officer's orders. A Taser was used on Howard, he was arrested and eventually went into cardiac arrest. He later died at University Hosptial.
This incident was reportedly not the first time a Taser had been used on Howard. He was reportedly rushed to Christ Hospital back in 2010 when a Taser had been used on him. No further details from that incident have been released.
Howard was at UC for a program called Upward Bound, which allows students in high school to receive college credit. He had just graduated from North College Hill High School and was planning to attend the University of Cumberland this fall on a sports scholarship. He was the captain of the Wrestling Team at North College Hill High School and also played football.
9 News talked to Asia Estill, Howard's friend Monday afternoon who says she can't believe he's gone. Estill had attended prom with Howard just last May.
"He was nice, he always had a smile on his face and no matter what the situation was, he always tried to help out," Estill said. "He was a good, strong young man who had a lot going for himself, and he brought a lot of joy to other people's lives, even when they were down, he would always be the one to make them smile."
UC is now relying on an outside investigation, apart from the UC Police Department to determine what exactly killed Howard.
Friends and family of Howard say he did have a slight heart murmur, but did not pose a problem to his athletics.
An initial review by UC police says that all the policies and procedures were followed appropriately. The police department put the officer who allegedly used the Taser on Howard is on administrative leave. The use of Tasers has also been suspended on campus until further notice.
The Hamilton County Coroner's Office has completed an autopsy. The office is now waiting for toxicology reports.