The Columbus Dispatch

OFFICER WILL APPEAL HIS SUSPENSION OVER ARREST

Saturday, August 10, 1996
NEWS LOCAL & NATIONAL   03C

By By Brent LaLonde

Dispatch Police Reporter

Police Officer Jonathan Little will appeal a two-week suspension for ignoring a superior's order after his drunken driving arrest last fall.

Chief James G. Jackson ruled that Little refused to provide a urine sample requested by his sergeant after Little was charged with drunken driving and having his weapon while intoxicated.

''We've decided to have the safety director (Thomas W. Rice) take a second look at this,'' Sam Shamansky, Little's attorney, said yesterday. ''He is a fair man, and whatever he deems appropriate, we'll probably live with.''

Little, who is black, was arrested by several white officers who were responding to a report of a man in a van waving a gun out the window. In court documents, Little stated that he protested the arrest and identified himself as a police officer, but that his head was banged against the hood of a car several times.

After the arrest, Little's service weapon was found under the van's seat.

The criminal charges were dropped after Little agreed not to sue the city, the Police Division or the arresting officers for improper arrest or civil rights violations.

The city's Public Safety Department investigated and found Officers Kenneth W. Dale and Thomas S. Watkins used unnecessary force during the arrest, but there was no evidence of racial discrimination.

After Little was arrested, he was taken to Central Police Headquarters where he initially refused to take a blood-alcohol test. Later, he was ordered to take a test as part of police internal affairs investigation. That test showed a blood-alcohol content of .096. In Ohio, drivers with a blood-alcohol content of .10 are considered too drunk to drive.

Little's supervisors then ordered Little to supply urine for further tests, and he refused, an internal affairs investigation showed.

Little has returned to work.



All content herein is 1996 The Columbus Dispatch and may not be republished without permission.