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Victim's Family Plans Lawsuit Against Officer

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Published on Nov 14, 2013

CINCINNATI (WKRC) -- The extent of Natalie Cole's injuries are known for the first time Thursday. Cincinnati police officer Orlando Smith hit Cole with his cruiser on Saturday on Vine Street in Over-The-Rhine. He was rushing to help an officer in trouble with his lights and sirens on. Cole's mother says her daughter got more than a hundred stitches in her head and has a broken back. Brenda Cole hired attorney Eric Deters after learning Officer Smith's cruiser camera stopped working at the time of the accident. Deters says Smith's camera also didn't work when he shot and killed Dontez O'Neal in Avondale last year. He plans to file a federal lawsuit against the officer claiming fabrication, negligence and destruction of evidence. Chief Jeffrey Blackwell says cruiser cameras can malfunction when heavy braking or acceleration are a factor. The investigation into the crash is not complete but the Chief says the physical evidence indicates Cole was not crossing at an intersection and was not in a crosswalk. Officer Smith is currently on administrative leave, which is standard procedure.

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