Two officers indicted
in 'choke hold' case
[Cincinnati, OH]

PoliceOne Staff Report
(B>CINCINNATI, Ohio) -- Two white Cincinnati police officers have been indicted in connection with the death of a black suspect on whom they allegedly used a choke hold to subdue, authorities said.

Robert Jorg, 29 was charged with involuntary manslaughter and misdemeanor assault in connection with the suffocation death of Roger Owensby on Nov. 7, 2000. Fellow officer Patrick Caton, 34, was charged with misdemeanor assault by the grand jury.

The indictments were announced Wednesday.

According to published reports, Owensby, 29, struggled with the officers when they attempted to question him in connection with a crime. Owensby was sprayed with a chemical and subdued.

But Hamilton County Coroner Carl Parrott later ruled that a choke hold which one or both of the officers used on the suspect, or the weight of the officers wrestling Owensby to the ground, resulted in his suffocation.

Owensby's death has angered members of the black community who have charged that the Cincinnati Police Department has a history of using excessive force.

A Cincinnati Police Department spokesman could not be reached for comment on the indictments.

However, following the indictments, Police Chief Thomas Streicher urged the community not to jump to conclusions because the officers have yet told their versions of what happened during the incident.

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