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Vice Mayor: Police report on Kyle Plush death investigation to be released May 14

Details follow prosecutor's investigation
Vice Mayor: Police report on Kyle Plush death investigation to be released May 14
Posted at 10:09 AM, May 04, 2018
and last updated 2018-05-04 16:19:12-04

CINCINNATI -- Cincinnati police will present its once-delayed report on the death of 16-year-old Kyle Plush to city council on May 14, Vice Mayor Christopher Smitherman announced Friday. 

What's the holdup? Hamilton County Prosecutor Joe Deters's office has completed a review of the police report, but the prosecutor's office has not completed its own investigation of Plush's death.

Police had planned to release its report at a public meeting at City Hall on May 2, but Deters got a grand jury subpoena blocking it.

Deters has not released the report, despite Smitherman's tweet. Deters' office said he would not comment Friday.

Police officials were scheduled to talk with city council at 9 a.m. Wednesday about how the teen died in his minivan at Seven Hills School, even though he called 911 twice. Smitherman said the subpoena arrived about a half-hour before that meeting was to have begun. 

Deters told 700WLW’s Scott Sloan Wednesday his office would go over a report from Hamilton County Sheriff Jim Neil, whose deputy was directing traffic at Seven Hills School the day Plush died. Two Cincinnati police officers also looked for Plush’s van. 

"There's nothing nefarious about it," Deters said on Wednesday. "It's just we want to make sure we've seen everything."

During their live interview, Sloan didn't ask Deters about the police officers' response, and Deters didn't address the many questions surrounding what officers did that day -- whether they went to the actual address they were dispatched to, whether they got out of their cruiser, and whether they had access to the GPS location from Plush's cellphone that was within feet of where a family member found him dead hours later.

Instead, Sloan and Deters primarily focused on the city's long-troubled 911 center.

A preliminary investigation revealed technical problems and human error may have played roles in first responders' failure to locate Plush. The 911 operator who took Plush's second call said she couldn’t hear him when he described the make, model and color of the minivan where he was trapped and suffocating.

"Kyle's death is a horrible tragedy, not just for his family but for the community," Deters said. "And it should be a siren -- somebody needs to fix this system. There's no reason why some group like the City of Cincinnati doesn't have a system in place that could've saved Kyle's life. That is the reality of it."

Three minutes of body camera footage, which Deters permitted the police department to release, shows two police officers in their car looking for Plush. Sgt. Dan Hils, Cincinnati police union president, said that footage does not cover the entire 11-minute search.

The Hamilton County deputy who had been directing traffic looked for Plush on foot after talking with the officers, but he never found his van, Chief Deputy Mark Schoonover said.

WCPO has requested the findings from the Cincinnati Police Department and the Hamilton County Prosecutor's Office regarding Plush's death.