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Cincinnati Man Shot by Officers Was Unarmed


Cincinnati police said a man shot by officers early Monday morning was unarmed.

Police went to an apartment on Romaine Drive in Oakley about 1 a.m. searching for Phillip Williams Jr., 30, who was wanted on a felony drug warrant and a felony probation violation in Newport.

Asst. Police Chief James Whalen said that Williams' mother answered the door and after a few minutes, told officers that he was not in the home. She allowed officers to search the apartment.

When the officers opened a closet in one of the bedrooms of the apartment, they discovered Williams.

At that time, Whalen said Officer Philip Threatt fired a single shot, wounding Williams in the left wrist. There was no time for a verbal warning from the time the closet door opened to when the shot was fired, Whalen said.

"As a preliminary matter, I have not been able to determine a threat that would warrant the use of a firearm. We're going to let this investigation, the processes that we follow, take their course to dictate our next actions," Whalen said.

Whalen said Threatt declined to give a statement following the shooting, exercising his Fifth Amendment right to remain silent.

Williams was treated for a minor injury and was released to police custody. He was being held at the Hamilton County Justice Center.

Whalen said officers found no weapon on or around Williams.

Threatt and Officer Timothy Watson were placed on administrative leave following the incident, which is standard procedure when an officer is involved in a shooting.

Whalen said Threatt was also involved in a shooting in 2008 in which he fired his weapon while searching a building. Threatt fired at a person who he believed was raising a firearm toward him. That person turned out to be another officer.

The bullet struck a wall and the other officer was not hurt.

An investigation by the Citizens Complaint Authority found that in the 2008 incident, Threatt did not violate the Police Department's policies and procedures, and he was exonerated.

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