Prosecutor: Officer was justified in student's tasing at UC

Everette Howard
Everette Howard

CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19) - Criminal charges will not be filed against a UC Police officer who tased a student last summer.

Hamilton County Prosecutor Joe Deters said in a letter to UC Police Chief Michael Cureton that Officer Richard Haas was justified in his actions when he tased Everette Howard, 18, on Aug. 6, 2011.

The Hamilton County Coroner has ruled Everette's cause and manner of death as unknown/undetermined.

UC Police responded to Turner Dormitory the night of Aug. 6 for a fight in progress. No criminal charges were filed as a result of that call.

Shortly after that call, the UC police were again called regarding a fight involving some of the participants in the earlier situation. Officer Haas encountered Howard and another individual he ordered them both to stop. Howard continued toward the officer and was tased one time. Police called for medical assistance and he was taken to University Hospital, where he died.

An independent witness confirmed that Howard failed to comply with the officer's commands and was tased after he continued to approach the officer.

An independent examination of the taser by Electronic Test Centre of Ontario, Canada confirmed that the taser was operating properly on August 6, 2011.

"Based upon our review of the material provided, it is the opinion of this office that Police Officer Richard Haas was justified in his actions and that he did not violate any criminal statutes," said Deters in a letter to Cureton.

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