Friends accuse police of excessive force in drummer's death - Cincinnati News, Weather, Sports from FOX19 NOW-WXIX

Friends accuse police of excessive force in drummer's death

David Hebert (Source: Facebook) David Hebert (Source: Facebook)

CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19) - Friends of David Hebert claim Cincinnati Police Officers used excessive force and wonder why they didn't use a taser or billy club.

If they had, they say their friend might still be alive.

Hebert's friends got together Monday afternoon. They want people to know their friend was a good person.

Still, acting Cincinnati Police Chief Richard Janke said when faced with an edged weapon, it was absolutely appropriate for his officers to fire their weapon.

Police had questioned Hebert about a cutting incident that happened earlier Sunday evening, but said he denied being involved and having a knife on him.

His friends say police could have exercised other options.

"That he's not a machete-wielding cop-killer and that he is a nice man and that he was loved," said David Cupp, who called Hebert, an energetic, funny, talented and tattooed drummer. The 40-year-old Hebert, or "Bones" as he was known to their Northside neighborhood, was a friend.

"Sweet man," Cupp said. "Nice guy, loved him."

So did Lisa Wurster and Liam Dolan.

"I hung out with him," Dolan said. "Had a beer with him."

They were close for about for 15 years.

"Bones was a gentle soul," said Wurster. "I mean, he was covered in tattoos, but he was actually a kind guy."

Both said they have a hard time believing Hebert pulled a knife on cops.

"Mr. Hebert pulled a knife from his pocket, raised his arm with the knife, and made what is described as a swipe at the closest officer to him," Janke said.

"I know David," Dolan said. "And he's not the sort of person to make this sort of stupid, stupid move."

"He weighed probably less than I do," laughed Wurster and Dolan. "He was a very thin guy, hence the nickname Bones."

"115 pounds tops," said longtime friend Kelly Wanstrath.

Hebert had a lot of people here who thought of him as family in Cincinnati, including 20-year friend Wanstrath.

"Him and my 11-year-old son were playing together in the park," she said. That was Sunday night and only hours before Hebert died.

They were all playing in Hoffner Park.

"Where a bunch of adults and children got together and played kickball," Wanstrath said.

Hebert is from New Orleans. He lived in Cincinnati for a long time. He tried the music scene in Oregon for a time, then came back here just a few months ago.

"From what I understand," Wanstrath said. "He did not even lunge at anybody, he pulled a knife out and he was shot twice."

The knife was a 13-inch switchblade police said Hebert pulled quickly from his pocket.

"And Mr. Herbert took a step towards the officer as he did that," Janke said.

Wanstrath and many others want to know why a baton or taser was not used.

"None of them perceived that as an option," Janke said. "They simply didn't have enough time is the best way to describe it. This was just a very, very quick incident."

"Any other option, there was too many other options," Wanstrath said. "That was absolutely ridiculous."

Funeral arrangements for Hebert are unknown at this time, but Hebert's father in New Orleans has been told of his son's death.

Friends said locally they will probably hold a private memorial for their friend, David Paul Hebert. 

Copyright 2011 FOX19. All Rights Reserved.

Powered by Frankly