Sharon J. Zealey, counsel for Lt. Colonel Ron Twitty, released a statement on his behalf regarding the recent suspension and investigation. Please find the release, in its entirety, below.
"Lt. Colonel Twitty left his home just before 7 a.m. on the Fourth of July. He found damage to the front driver's side corner of his police vehicle. He immediately reported the damage to the police by telephone and waited for them to arrive. An investigator and a supervisor arrived about 40 minutes after the initial report. Lt. Colonel Twitty gave the officers information about himself, about the vehicle, and about his discovery of the damage to the vehicle. He stayed to see if investigators needed anything further from him and they did not. He then departed to join friends for a round of golf while they continued the investigation.
He was not interviewed further about the damage to the car until yesterday, almost two weeks later. The only bits of so-called "incriminating" information are the lack of debris at the scene of the damage and Lt. Colonel Twitty's failure to report the damage to the Chief directly. The lack of debris proves nothing. Failure to report the damage to the chief is not a crime, nor is it proof of a crime.
Police policies on discipline require both fairness and consistency. We don't believe that the public announcement of these allegations, coupled with Lt. Colonel Twitty's suspension and referral of criminal investigation, is consistent or fair based on past similar incidents.
A reasonable person need only look to the flat tire as proof that Lt. Colonel Twitty is innocent. Since the tire was flat, how could he have driven home without damaging the tire rim? It's a fact that the tire rim was not damaged. The police report itself states that the damage to the vehicle was disabling. This generally means that the vehicle cannot be driven. If Lt. Colonel Twitty had anything to hide why would he go golfing as the investigators spent hours investigating the damage to the vehicle. Why hasn't the possibility of vandalism been investigated? There have been many innuendos about Lt. Colonel Twitty's activities the night before the damage was discovered. That night, he was with numerous friends who are also employed with the Cincinnati Police Division. One thing is clear: sobriety is a non-issue.
Lt. Colonel Twitty has devoted 29 years of his career to upholding and enforcing the law. He has been suspended and his career damaged based on the flimsiest of inferences. It is hard to imagine that his career will not be permanently damaged by this criminal referral and suspension by Chief Streicher. We expect that the criminal investigation by the Sheriff's office will be completed quickly and fairly with no finding of criminal conduct by Lt. Colonel Twitty. Thereafter, Chief Streicher should conclude any internal investigation forthwith. Lt. Colonel Twitty wants to return to work.
Justice demands, and we fully expect, that when the investigation is closed that Lt. Colonel Twitty will be publicly exonerated, with an apology, and that he will be promptly returned to duty.
By Lt. Colonel Twitty: First and always, all praises to the Father. I deeply appreciate the prayers and support of so many members of my family, my church family, my police supporters, friends, and agencies and groups like the Community Action Agency, NAACP, and Urban League. I have placed these troubles in God's hands and have full confidence that I will be able to return to my important duties very soon."
The 21-year-old was discovered in his apartment after he didn't show up for practice Tuesday. He died from an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound.Full Story >