Chief: Officer followed policy in College Hill shooting

Cincinnati Police Chief Jeffrey Blackwell addresses the media Thursday at police headquarters.
Cincinnati Police Chief Jeffrey Blackwell addresses the media Thursday at police headquarters.

CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19) - Cincinnati Police Chief Jeffrey Blackwell said Thursday that it appears that an officer followed the department's policy when she fired a shot at a man inside a vehicle Wednesday afternoon near North Bend Road and Hamilton Avenue in College Hill.

"At this point, we're not trying to justify the shooting at all in any way, shape or form," he said during a press conference at police headquarters in the West End.

Blackwell said Officer Sabreen Robinson, 35, was sitting in her marked cruiser on Hamilton Avenue when a female approached her in another vehicle. The female asked for help in removing a male from her vehicle. Robinson exited her cruiser and approached the rear of the female's vehicle.

Blackwell said Robinson originally thought the incident was a domestic dispute. Robinson, who was by herself, repeatedly asked 23-year-old Michael Reese to exit the vehicle. Reese was in the backseat on the driver's side. Reese repeatedly refused to exit the vehicle. Blackwell said Reese was erratic and continued to disregard Robinson's orders.

Blackwell said at some point Reese moved his hands to his right side, quickly reached down and then quickly raised his hands. Blackwell said that alerted Robinson that the suspect might have a firearm. Blackwell said Robinson believed she saw a gun in his hands. Robinson fired one shot through the driver's side rear window of the vehicle. The shot did not hit Reese. Robinson then realized that the black item she thought was a gun was instead black gloves.

Robinson held Reese in place until backup units arrived. He was released and hasn't been arrested yet. Reese is the female's boyfriend.

Blackwell said Reese will be charged with obstructing official business, a second degree misdemeanor. Blackwell said Reese did have some misdemeanor arrest warrants and has a history of mental illness.

Robinson joined the department in February 2002. She is assigned to the department's District 5 that covers communities such as Clifton, Fairview and College Hill.

Robinson is on a customary paid seven-day leave where she is required to see a staff psychologist.

The investigation is ongoing.

The incident happened at around 2:30 p.m.

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