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Cincinnati Council To Investigate Kyle Plush's Death

His family says Kyle Plush (right) was remarkable and embraced life with a passion far beyond his years.
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His family says Kyle Plush (right) was remarkable and embraced life with a passion far beyond his years.

Chair of Cincinnati Council's Law and Public Safety Committee Christopher Smitherman calls Kyle Plush's death a "tremendous tragedy," and says he's determined to find out why the city failed him. 

On Tuesday the committee will question administrators about possible problems with the 911 system and find out why two Cincinnati Police officers left the scene after 11 minutes.

Plush, a 16-year-old Seven Hills student, called 911 two times on April 10 when he became trapped in his minivan in the Seven Hills parking lot. He had kneeled on the third-row seat and reached over to grab his tennis gear when the seat flipped over, pinning him. Despite pleas for help, police couldn't find him and a second 911 operator said she couldn't hear him.

An internal police investigation is underway.

Smitherman will devote a special committee meeting Tuesday to discussing the Plush case and trying to figure out who's at fault. "I don't want to get ahead of the hearing," he says. "I think it would be disrespectful to the administration. We are reviewing lots of correspondence.

"The buck stops someplace," Smitherman continues. "I think I have a feeling of where it stops and I plan to ask the administration some tough questions."

Mayor John Cranley says problems of management, supervision and technology have been reported at the 911 center for years. Last week he said, "I join Vice Mayor Smitherman in asking that the Administration share all memos, reports and relevant emails surrounding the history of the 911/ECC immediately."

Smitherman toured the 911 call center in January and introduced a motion to streamline the technology there. He wants to know where that stands.

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With more than 30 years of journalism experience in the Greater Cincinnati market, Ann Thompson brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise to her reporting. She has reported for WKRC, WCKY, WHIO-TV, Metro Networks and CBS/ABC Radio. Her work has been recognized by the Associated Press and the Society of Professional Journalists. In 2019 and 2011 A-P named her “Best Reporter” for large market radio in Ohio. She has won awards from the Association of Women in Communications and the Alliance for Women in Media. Ann reports regularly on science and technology in Focus on Technology.