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Monday, July 28, 2014

Fort Thomas Officer Included on Panel to Investigate Death of Teen by Boone County Officer

An independent panel is looking into the case of a preschool teacher fatally shot by a Boone County Deputy in April. Samantha Ramsey, 19, was shot to death leaving a field party after being stopped by Deputy Tyler Brockman
Via WLWT, Channel 5 - After WLWT filed a complaint with the Kentucky Attorney General’s office, prosecutors have released the names of police officials that make up a special investigative panel looking into the officer-involved shooting in Boone County.

WLWT has been persistent in knowing the make-up of the panel because it’s playing such a key role in the case. WLWT filed a complaint with the Kentucky Attorney General’s Office after open records requests for the information were ignored by multiple offices, including the commonwealth attorney and the Boone County Sheriff’s Department.

The panel is made up of officers from police departments in Florence, Fort Thomas and the Campbell County.

“The presumption, in the eyes of some people in the public, is that if the police department is investigating itself, there’s a bias and they’ll obviously find everything is OK. It won’t be fair. It won’t be objective,” former long-time University of Cincinnati Police Chief Gene Ferrara said.
Ferrara said that no matter how fair and impartial investigators are, if they’re looking at their own officer, even the perception of a bias can be a problem.

“Obviously you can’t operate in a community that doesn’t trust the police department, so public trust is high on the list of things you need to accomplish in these investigations,” Ferrara said.
The Boone County Sheriff’s Department is investigating to see if their own deputy, Tyler Brockman, was justified when he shot and killed Samantha Ramsey, 19, as she was leaving a field party in April.
Prosecutors said those on the independent panel, “volunteered to assist.”

They also said the panel is “reviewing all of the evidence and investigative reports,” and are being used in “an advisory capacity.” The panel is made up of veteran officers. So far, none of them have been named and there’s no information about how many from each department are on the panel.
More information could come as the investigation winds down.

Experts said naming a special prosecutor last week and now naming the makeup of the panel could signal that’s already happening.

The case will most likely be presented to a grand jury for yet another level of review.
In Boone County, the Grand Jury meets the first and third Tuesdays of the month.

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