Friends, family hold vigil for student Everette Howard - Cincinnati News, Weather, Sports from FOX19 NOW-WXIX

Student remembered a year after taser death

Everette Howard, a graduate of North College Hill HS, with mother Everette Howard, a graduate of North College Hill HS, with mother
(FOX19) -

A vigil was held Monday night for a teen who died after being tasered by a University of Cincinnati police officer one year ago. About one hundred people attended the vigil mourning the loss of Everette Howard and rejecting the investigation into his death.

"So hard. I mean, I hate to think about it," said friend and North College Hill High School classmate, Robert Shannon. "When I woke up this morning that's all been on my mind. Just talking about it hurts."

UC Police say they were responding to a report of an assault when Howard approached them in an angry manner with balled fists and refused to stop moving forward.

Those who knew Howard find hard to believe.

"He was the peace maker," said Shannon. "If any time we got into anything with anybody, he was the one telling us 'no, we can handle this a different way.'"

No charges were filed against UC police officer, Richard Haas, and Hamilton County Prosecutor Joe Deters said the officer was justified in tasing Howard.

Howard's family disagrees with both decisions.

"All the people that is responsible for what happened needs to be held accountable," said Howard's mother, Travonna. "I think justice for our son is for his name to be cleared because there was so much negativity out there about him."

Despite Howard being diagnosed with a heart murmur, the Hamilton County coroner said the cause of his death could not be determined.

"We can't understand why he was taken from us so soon," said Everette Howard, Sr.

Howard was two weeks away from attending the University of the Cumberlands on a wrestling scholarship.

"His dream was to go to the Olympics. He was shooting towards that," said his mother.

Last week, Howard's family filed a civil lawsuit against the UC police department asking for financial compensation and taser reform.

They say officer Richard Haas should have known better than to shoot his taser at someone's chest.

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