Study raises questions about investigation of deadly police shootings


A new study is calling into question the investigation and prosecution of deadly police shootings.

The study used the shooting death of 23-year-old Henry Green three months ago in Columbus as an example.

The Peoples' Justice Project released a study today calling for best practices in a few areas, incarcerating suspects and officer-involved shootings.

“I just want people to know my son was a human being, he’s not a number, he’s not a statistic,” Green’s mother Adrienne Hood said.

It's hard for Hood to talk about Bubby, as he was called. Henry Green to her was the family jokester and a son who was so dear.

“Nobody should have to go through losing a child you certainly shouldn’t have to go through losing a child this way,” Hood said.

Green was shot by plain clothes police officers in June. There's a dispute between officers and witnesses as to what happened.

The investigation isn't complete but the family and attorneys say the case is an example of changes that need to be made.

“It calls into question whether it’s truly a fair and independent process,” Green family attorney Sean Walton said.

The calls for change are part of a study just released by the People's Justice Project.

“In 18 years as Franklin County Prosecutor Ron O’Brien has never indicted a police officer in a fatal, on-duty shooting,” Walton said.

“All cases involving a police shooting for many years go automatically to the grand jury,” Prosecutor O’Brien said.

O'Brien says all witnesses to the shooting give their accounts and family can give character statements. He says if there's a conflict of interest, a special prosecutor is called.

But the People’s Justice Project disputes it’s that impartial. They say an effort by the state to revamp the grand jury process recommended BCI should investigate such shootings and the Attorney General's office should prosecute them.

O'Brien says he was actually part of the collaborative that talked about those possible changes.

Until then, we have the existing laws of Ohio, the existing rules on grand juries and I think that’s what we have to operate under until those kind of changes are made,” O’Brien said.