CINCINNATI – Police said its investigation into the Greenpeace high-wire, stunt protest at Procter and Gamble's Downtown headquarters is closed -- less than three days after activists used zip lines to hang banners from the company's twin towers.
Nine protesters were arrested Tuesday afternoon and were charged with one count each of burglary and vandalism. They were released on $50,000 cash bail Wednesday afternoon.
Central Business District Capt. Paul Broxterman, who met with Police Chief Jeffrey Blackwell Friday morning, told WCPO police have the evidence they need to support the charges, both of which are felonies.
“We may never know how they got in, and it’s not imperative for us to know,” Broxterman said Friday. “At this point, it’s really an internal matter for P&G."
Authorities have said one protester likely gained access to an auxiliary building at Sixth and Sycamore streets after making an appointment with a third-party, which had office space in the building. That protester then let in other Greenpeace activists before they made it to the 12th floor of the towers and strung zip lines to hang the banners. One protester, dressed as a tiger, dangled from one of the lines before police were called to P&G. The demonstrators were arrested without incident.
The detective assigned to the case has wrapped up her investigation. The case is expected to be presented to a Hamilton County grand jury for a possible indictment.
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Authorities said they do not expect additional people to be charged in the case.
And, they added, there is no basis to file additional charges against Greenpeace related to a helicopter spotted above P&G headquarters on Tuesday. Greenpeace hired the helicopter, which was used by activists to film the stunt, authorities said.
Greenpeace duped the local helicopter service into flying a photographer and videographer over the group's protest at Procter & Gamble headquarters Tuesday, the owner told WCPO.
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Steve Paquette of Stratus Helicopters said they thought they were hired for a typical downtown photo shoot. The two photographers never said they worked for Greenpeace and the person who booked the flight never mentioned the activist group, either, Paquette said.
911 calls indicate police response to the incident was slow, but police communication logs indicate it took 16 minutes for the first police car to arrive.
The first call to emergency dispatchers was received at 1:04 p.m. Tuesday, according to a police incident recall log. Officers first arrived at 1:20 p.m., according to the log.
Greenpeace accused the Fortune 500 company of working with negligent palm oil contractors, who destroy rainforests in Indonesia.
Greenpeace protesters likely entered a side door to Procter & Gamble headquarters two blocks away from the towers where they staged their dramatic demonstration Tuesday, a police report notes.
The protesters, who wore business attire, likely entered a six-story building owned by P&G. Cintrifuse and The Port of Greater Cincinnati Development Authority share office space in the building. Protesters may have then proceeded through skywalks over Sycamore and Broadway to the towers, authorities said they believe. Once on the largely vacant 12th floor, police said, they changed clothes and broke window locks to hang the zip lines.
For more crime and justice stories by Kareem Elgazzar, visit www.wcpo.com/elgazzar. Follow him on Twitter at @ElgazzarBLVD