"A lot of mistakes": Why did Kyle Plush die? City seeks answers
CINCINNATI (WKRC) - The buck stops at City Manager Harry Black when it comes to questions surrounding the death of Kyle Plush, or at least it does according to City Council Member and Cincinnati Vice Mayor Chris Smitherman.
Smitherman says he will seek transparency at a committee meeting on Tuesday, a full week after the discovery of the dead Seven Hills student who was found in a parking lot near his school.
There are so many questions, such as why didn't the 911 operator hear Kyle’s pleas for help? Was there more police could have done to search for Kyle? Only his first call got through to 911.
“At the end of the day, a child lost his life. I believe there were balls dropped. I plan on pushing for accountability in those areas for those personal responsible,” said Smitherman.
Kyle Plush did everything right when he called 911 twice. He was in the back of his van, face down, being crushed by the seat that collapsed on him, but still he manages to reach into his pocket, press the “Home” button for the voice-activated function to call 911.
He gave information to the operator, but it's clear in the read out of that call that he can't hear the operator.
It has been reported that the operator could not hear him as he told her what the van looks like, where it was and that he thinks he's dying. None of that information gets passed on to police as a result. Police who were looking for him at the same time.
“I'm not sure why there is muffle or why there was a disconnect in that second phone call. We're going to ask questions about that,” said Smitherman.
Smitherman has more questions. In the first call, the GPS search would have led police to the parking lot about seven cars away from Kyle. Did they get that information?
"There are so many things that went wrong, and have gone wrong with this system in the past. Time's up,” said Cincinnati City Council Member Greg Landsman.
Reports about a troubled Communication Center go back years. City Manager Harry Black said it bordered on dysfunction in 2016 until he made changes to stabilize it.
But when a 911 operator gave an exit interview in February, she said mismanagement rises to the level of a public safety issue.
The second call taker who was put on administrative leave is going back to work this week.
Smitherman says he is opposed to anyone going back on the job until the city has more answers.
A steady crowd of friends and family filled an East End church during a funeral mass for Kyle on Monday.
The funeral was held at St. Rose Church on Riverside Drive.