New Allegations of Police Brutality

ByABC News
December 2, 2003, 12:19 PM

C I N C I N N A T I, Dec. 2 -- Police appeared to follow procedure whenattempting to subdue a black man who later died, and "it's obviousone of the officers was assaulted" before the taped beating began,Police Chief Thomas Streicher said today.

Nathaniel Jones, 41, died at a hospital shortly after beingtaken into custody Sunday outside a fast food restaurant. The350-pound man was struck repeatedly with nightsticks in aconfrontation captured by a video camera mounted on a police car.

While he stressed that the investigation was incomplete, "Ithink there's enough on the tape to have a preliminary judgmentabout what occurred," Streicher said on NBC's Today. "It'sobvious one of the officers was assaulted while he was trying tocalm down Mr. Jones."

"I can't see anything that's outside this procedure at thispoint," he said.

Panel Investigates Death

The Citizen Complaint Authority, a watchdog panel born from theriots that followed the police shooting of an unarmed black man in2001, is looking into the death.

"We turn to you for a full and fair and thoroughinvestigation," Mayor Charlie Luken told members Monday night. TheU.S. Justice Department also was studying the case.

The cause of Jones' death was under investigation. Preliminaryautopsy results showed he had an enlarged heart, and his bloodcontained cocaine and PCP, or "angel dust," both of which cancause erratic behavior, Hamilton County Coroner Carl Parrott said.

Monday night's regular meeting of the complaint panel wasdisrupted by four activists who demanded quick action.

"It's apparent that you don't know what you're supposed to bedoing and what your authority is," said Nate Livingston Jr., amember of the Coalition for a Just Cincinnati, which promotes aboycott of the city.

"When they start fighting in the streets, you'll say, 'Whydidn't you do it the right way? Why didn't you come to City Hall?Why didn't you trust us? Why didn't you talk to us?"