CINCINNATI — In just four days, friends and community members have donated nearly $40,000 to support John Brown and his family after the Cincinnati Police Department recruit was hospitalized for a "medical emergency" suffered after a training session.
“I’m not surprised at all,” said Josh Harmon, whose wife Brittany organized the GoFundMe page. “He’s just fighting. He’s a fighter and he’s always been. He’s getting better everyday. It’s a long fight.”
Harmon and Brown met while on the rowing team their freshman year at the University of Cincinnati. Brown would eventually walk-on to the Bearcats football team. He also served with the United States Marine Corps before signing up as a recruit in the Cincinnati Police Academy, something Harmon said he remembers talking about with his friend while they were still in college.
“In college, he was studying criminal justice and his dream as long as I have known him was to be a Cincinnati police officer,” Harmon said.
The money raised on GoFundMe will go directly to Brown’s wife and their two children to help them navigate his time in the hospital and his potential recovery.
According to a memo from the interim Cincinnati City Manager John Curp, Brown was participating in a "redman drill" Jan. 19, designed to simulate taking down and arresting a suspect. The training involves officers role playing physical scenarios with an experienced CPD officer. The memo said the drill has five scenarios that simulate methods "necessary to resolve a violent situation."
Officials have not clarified what the medical emergency was or whether it was brought on by the training Brown participated in. The city manager’s office could not provide an update on Brown’s condition Monday “out of respect for the family’s privacy.” He was taken to UC Medical Center in serious condition.
“On behalf of the City administration CPD is in regular communications with his spouse,” the city wrote in a statement. “We continue to keep Officer Brown, his wife and entire family in our thoughts and prayers.”
The news of Brown’s medical emergency caught the attention of the Indian Hill community, where he was a student athlete while growing up in Camp Dennison.
“I hope that this just gives him a lot of even more perseverance to keep getting better and knowing that the school community and the Indian Hill community and all his friends and family are behind him,” said Ellen Hughes, Brown’s physical education teacher at Indian Hill.
Brown's high school football coach, Kevin Siple, said the outpouring of support shows just what kind of a person Brown is.
“It was always about someone else, not about him," Siple said. "So now I think that he needs the support, people have no problem at all doing what’s necessary.”
People can send their support or well-wishes to email@example.com.