Portune Asks Feds to Investigate Owensby Death

A local family calling for further investigation into the death of their son now has the support of a Hamilton County commissioner.

Last month, Brenda and Roger Owensby Sr. started to collect signatures for a petition to U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft. Todd Portune added his name. The city council member turned commissioner also sent a letter to the Department of Justice, asking for an inquiry into possible federal criminal or civil rights violations resulting from Roger Owensby Jr.'s suffocation during a struggle with police in November 2000.

Prosecutors filed charges against two of the five officers involved, but both Robert Jorg and Patrick Caton earned acquittals by separate juries.

As of Friday, Justice Department spokesman Dan Nelson claimed no knowledge of Portune's letter.

Investigators have an ongoing review of Cincinnati Police operations, which began with the April shooting death of an unarmed black man at the hands of a white officer.