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Week 9.5: Bones

November 29, 2011

Week 9.5: Conduct an internet search to find news articles, video, or other coverage relating to at least 2 of the recent events and activities highlighting Northside. Use these articles and what you learn as the basis for your Reflection & Analysis blog entry (due Wednesday, November 23), focusing that entry on ONE topic listed. Remember to properly cite your sources.

The death of David “Bones” Hebert – what are the details and what was the resulting community outreach in spring of 2011?

On April 14th, 2001, Jason Weller called 911, reporting the David “Bones” Hebert, a local musician in Northside, had robbed his apartment and cut his hand with a sword. Police found Hebert walking his dog with a friend a few blocks away. Hebert had a knife, and the police shot and killed him. Anything beyond these bare facts is murky, as many parts of the story are unknown and some of the evidence doesn’t make sense. For example, the knife was found over 25 feet from his body, and it seem unlikely that Hebert could have thrown the knife away after being fatally shot. Hebert was a small, thin man (hence the nickname, “Bones”), so it seems strange that he was violent enough to pose a threat to the police. With nothing but the police officers’ testimony to go on (the police car’s camera was off), the case will most likely remain a mystery, and Prosecutor Joe Deters closed the case, saying the officers committed no crime.

More interesting than the killing was the response of the community, as many people were friends of Hebert. Over a hundred people packed into the city council’s chambers to demand answers, and people also held several events in his honor, including a “dirge march” by musicians and “Bonesfest,” a weekend musical memorial. His death clearly struck close to home for many people (in the “defended area” of Northside), so this could severely affect the connections between the Cincinnati police and the local community. Whether or not a crime was committed, there are enough strange things about the case that many people will suspect that one was, so the police need to quickly assuage these suspicions and show that people can trust them. This news story has mostly fallen off the radar, and I couldn’t find any followups after Deters’ response to the case, so it’s possible that the matter blew over, but I think the city could have done more to explain what happened, and what it’s doing to prevent a repeat of the incident. Deters’ blunt denial of the crime seems too brief.

Works Cited:

“BONESFEST.” David Bones Herbert. Cincinnati Enquirer, n.d. Web. 30 Nov 2011. <;.

Osborne, Kevin. “A Shot in the Dark.” CityBeat. Cincinnati CityBeat, 04 May 2011. Web. 30 Nov 2011. <;.

Perry, Kimball. “Deters: Officers ‘committed no crime’ in shooting of ‘Bones’ Hebert.” Cincinnati Enquirer, 23 Aug 2011. Web. 30 Nov 2011. <;.

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