David “Bones” Hebert was a well-loved musician and social fixture in Cincinnati’s Northside neighborhood. In the early hours of April 18, 2011, just months after returning to Cincinnati from seven years in Oregon and Louisiana, he was shot to death by controversial police sergeant Andrew Mitchell.
Following a false 911 call alleging a burglary, officers found Hebert with a companion and his dog, seated on the sidewalk rolling a cigarette. Investigations later found that police violated procedure and training by failing to plan and instead rushing in to a dangerous proximity at which any action by Hebert could be construed as a lethal threat. Indeed, Hebert was complying with Officer Johnson’s orders to stand, step towards him and produce a weapon, when he was shot twice by latecomer Sergeant Mitchell, who was not listening to the commands and so perceived compliance as threat.
Mitchell was exonerated and no charges were brought in Hebert’s death. Nevertheless, the community organized under the name “Friends of Bones” to protest the shooting and a civil action was brought against Cincinnati Police. In August 2015, the City of Cincinnati settled the lawsuit and issued an apology, admitting that Hebert was stopped on false information, had not attacked officers and that officers’ tactical mistakes contributed to his death.
For more information, visit friendsofBones.org