Prosecutor blocks release of results of probe into teen’s minivan death

CINCINNATI — A prosecutor blocked the Cincinnati Police Department from releasing the results Wednesday of its internal probe into its failure to respond properly to a 16-year-old boy who died after twice calling 911 to report he was trapped inside a minivan near his school. The announcement came a little more than a half hour before the police chief’s highly anticipated presentation to City Council members about events leading up to Kyle Plush’s April 10 death.

The teen’s father found his body in a parking lot near his school almost six hours after Kyle made the first of his 911 calls.

A coroner ruled that Kyle asphyxiated from chest compression. It is suspected that the 2004 Honda Odyssey’s rear seat flipped over to pin him as he reached for tennis gear in the back.

Prosecutor Joe Deters is also probing what happened, and subpoenaed the police investigative records that were to be released.

“We want to review the (Cincinnati police) report on the Kyle Plush matter before any videos or still pictures are released. We expect the review to be completed by early next week,” Deters said in a statement.

Cincinnati Vice Mayor Christopher Smitherman announced the postponement.

“We continue to extend our condolences to the Plush family,” Smitherman said in council chambers after Chief Eliot Isaac’s police presentation was called off. “We have been in active communication with the Plush family, updating them along the way.”

Plush’s parents have said they “have questions and want answers” about what happened.

Deters told The Cincinnati Enquirer: “This is too important not to get right. I think Kyle deserves that.”

In his second 911 call, he provided a description of the vehicle and his location.

Two police officers drove around at the boy’s high school looking for him but left after 11 minutes, one of them reporting dubiously: “I don’t see nobody … which I don’t imagine I would.”

Isaac, the police chief, has said something went “terribly wrong.” He said officers who went to the scene never received the vehicle description from Kyle’s second call. It’s not clear yet whether that was from the 911 call-taker’s error, equipment problems or both.

Cincinnati officials on Monday outlined plans for upgrading the emergency center. Over the next year, the city plans a series of improvements to the center and will consider getting an outside evaluation, possibly merging with the county 911 facility and perhaps eliminating 12-hour shifts, CBS affiliate WKRC-TV reports.

Hanging over it all are the boy’s words in haunting 911 audiotapes:

“I probably don’t have much time left, so tell my mom that I love her if I die. This is not a joke. … This is not a joke. … Send officers immediately. I am almost dead.”

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