County prosecutor pursuing further investigation into Nelsonville officer | News

County prosecutor pursuing further investigation into Nelsonville officer | News

NELSONVILLE — The county prosecutor is pursuing extra investigation into provisional Nelsonville Police Officer Cecil Morrison’s function in the dying of a town resident. In the meantime, the city is functioning to fill a long-lasting officer situation, with Morrison presently in the managing.

On July 27, 2021, Morrison, who was then used by Hocking College, shot and killed Nelsonville resident Michael Whitmer though supporting the Nelsonville Law enforcement Department’s response to a claimed domestic disturbance. Whitmer was seemingly trying to flee the scene in his vehicle with his 4-yr-outdated little one obvious in the again seat.

Morrison’s ricocheting bullets wounded NPD Officer KJ Tracy. Tracy has given that recovered, and Whitmer’s youngster survived the incident as effectively.

In Oct, Morrison was quietly hired onto the Nelsonville Police Office by Chief Scott Fitch and Town Manager Scott Frank on a momentary and provisional basis.

While Morrison was positioned on administrative obligations at Hocking College or university as a final result of the incident, he is serving on energetic duty with the NPD.

In early November, County Prosecutor Keller Blackburn was provided with an investigation into the July 27 incident carried out by the Ohio Bureau of Felony Investigations. Even so, Blackburn mentioned his office environment established extra investigation “needs to be finished.”

“I’ve informed [the Ohio BCI] that my business is doing work on it, and we will get again to them if there’s additional evidence or investigation we need of them,” Blackburn claimed.

Frank claimed the update from Blackburn does not modify his assessment that it is correct for Morrison to serve as an lively obligation officer at the moment.

“If there’s a issue in which it will come where by he’s, like, officially unfit or whatsoever, then we would deal with it at that stage,” Frank reported. “Just simply because [Blackburn]’s saying that he’s gonna do additional investigations or just about anything like that does not make [Morrison] guilty. He’s not responsible of everything right now.”

Frank extra, “If it had been my liked just one, I would want to make sure the prosecutor does a really, quite, pretty, incredibly, incredibly extensive investigation. But that doesn’t make another person guilty.”

Asked whether he stands by his prior assertion that Morrison “absolutely… did the appropriate factor in that instant,” Frank explained, “I have never ever been in a predicament like that. If I were in a problem like that, I never know what I would do. But who am I to question his actions in that circumstance? Have you at any time been in a situation like that?”

When this reporter responded that they had not, Frank ongoing, “Who are you to query, then?”

The Messenger requested Blackburn about the certainty beforehand expressed by Nelsonville officers that Morrison’s steps on July 27 ended up ideal.

“Ultimately, grand juries make your mind up irrespective of whether felony behavior has happened on a level of probable lead to, and juries and judges come to a decision no matter whether or not an individual is guilty outside of a affordable doubt,” Blackburn explained. “So, I don’t feel it is acceptable for anybody to remark on an open up investigation. And, you know, I will not be performing that.”

Morrison’s provisional term as an officer will close just after 6 months, Frank verified. Morrison was hired Oct. 12, which means he may perhaps proceed to provide provisionally by early April.

“When we use a provisional, we know the clock’s ticking,” Frank mentioned.

The Town of Nelsonville announced this week that NPD is accepting purposes to “create an eligibility listing for potential potential hires,” with apps to be recognized by way of 3 p.m. on Feb. 8.

Frank confirmed that any applicants may well be regarded along with Morrison for a lasting officer placement after eligibility is identified by the civil company examination.

The City of Nelsonville Civil Provider Commission is assembly Tuesday, Feb. 1 to agenda a day for the examinations announced by the city this 7 days.

Frank explained results from the test are frequently offered the exact working day, and Chief Fitch will then convene a board to carry out interviews and identify who to retain the services of for a long lasting officer placement.

Frank explained he normally sits on employing boards for the law enforcement and fire departments in a nonvoting potential.

Fitch could not be reached for comment for this tale.

Ferne Dekker

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