April 18 marked the two-year anniversary of the death of David “Bones” Hebert, a well-known local Punk musician and cook who in 2011 was shot to death by Cincinnati Police Sergeant Andrew Mitchell April in Northside, prompting his estate to file a wrongful death lawsuit against Mitchell on April 18, 2012.
Bones, described by friends as friendly and peaceful, left behind a legacy that sparked his loved ones to form Friends of Bones, a collective aimed at bringing justice to his death.
Bones’ estate last week expanded the lawsuit to include the city of Cincinnati, alleging Monell Claims (referring to municipal officials unconstitutionally or incorrectly dealing with a police misconduct claim) as well as Cincinnati Police officers Lawrence Johnson, Brian Kneller and Nicolino Stavale (also present at the shooting), for contributing to an unnecessary atmosphere of danger.
Police approached Bones because he matched a suspect description from a 911 robbery call dispatched minutes earlier. Shortly after police took his official statement, the police report alleges Bones pulled a blade from his pocket and lunged at one of the officers, which prompted Mitchell to fire. Bones was pronounced dead at the scene, and a toxicology report showed he had a blood alcohol level of .33 and traces of psychedelic mushrooms and marijuana. Bones’ friends admit he was inclined toward rowdy behavior when intoxicated, but not violence.
The investigations following his death — all of which exonerated Mitchell and the Police Department from any fault — brought to light a slew of inconsistencies, which form a basis for the current lawsuit.