Chief Responds to Owensby Letter

For nearly two months, groups protesting the death of Roger Owensby have cried corruption on the part of Cincinnati police. For eight weeks, the department has denied the allegations. This week the two sides went at it again.

In a letter to Mayor Charlie Luken, the father of the 29-year old College Hill man claimed investigators have been harassing witnesses to the case. He relayed incidents in which three unnamed people were intimidated, bothered, forced to take multiple lie-detector tests, and ordered to retell their memories of that November night in question. Those who did not cooperate were also reportedly threatened with jail time.

Chief Tom Streicher claimed the letter is bogus. He admitted officers did administer polygraph tests, but only once and only to one witness. Another had to be called several times for missing a scheduled interview.

The Hamilton County coroner determined Owensby Jr. suffocated, either from a choke-hold or a police pile-up during an incident at a Roselawn gas station. The five officers involved remain on paid administrative leave and continue to invoke their fifth amendment right to not talk.