Naimo Mahdi Abdirahman : Columbus Police Neglect Evidence in Officer’s Drunken Fatal Crash

By | April 18, 2024

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Accident – Death – Obituary News : : 1. Columbus police negligence
2. Officer fatal crash investigation

Columbus police failed to pursue crucial evidence in a fatal hit-and-run involving off-duty officer Demetris Ortega. The incident, which claimed the life of Naimo Abdirahman, went uninvestigated, leading to light charges of misdemeanor drunken driving and fleeing the scene. Ortega escaped more serious charges like aggravated vehicular homicide due to lack of evidence. Investigators overlooked key details, such as Ortega’s damaged tire opposite the impact zone. The case file raised questions about the handling of the investigation, leaving Abdirahman’s family seeking justice. Ortega’s plea and sentencing shed light on a flawed investigation process, sparking public outrage.

1. Columbus police negligence in fatal DUI crash investigation
2. Officer’s drunk driving death probe by Columbus authorities

Tragic Hit-and-Run Incident Involving Off-Duty Columbus Police Officer Sparks Investigation

A tragic hit-and-run incident on Morse Road near Walford Street in Columbus has left the community reeling. Naimo Abdirahman, a 27-year-old Somali American mother, lost her life in the early morning hours of April 20, 2022, after being struck by a vehicle driven by off-duty Columbus police officer Demetris Ortega.

Ortega, a 19-year veteran of the force, was indicted in April 2023 for misdemeanor drunken driving and fleeing the scene, a third-degree felony. Despite evidence suggesting more serious charges could have been warranted, Ortega pleaded guilty to the charges last September and was sentenced to eighteen months in prison.

Questionable Police Investigation Raises Concerns

A recent investigation by The Columbus Dispatch has raised questions about the Columbus police investigators’ handling of the case. The investigation revealed gaps in the evidence collection process, including the failure to pursue security video footage from nearby businesses that could have shed light on the circumstances of the crash.

Additionally, crucial details such as the extensive damage to Ortega’s tire on the opposite side from the impact with Abdirahman were not adequately addressed in the case file. Former police chief Brian Higgins described these oversights as “unusual and suspicious.”

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Unanswered Questions and Misinformation

Despite realizing within days that a narrative they initially publicized about a female driver was false, investigators failed to correct the misinformation before Ortega was indicted a year later. This lack of transparency has raised concerns about the integrity of the investigation.

Furthermore, the case file did not address the blown-out tire on Ortega’s vehicle, leading to speculation about the circumstances that may have led to the fatal crash. Prosecutors cited insufficient evidence to prove fault in the incident, resulting in Ortega escaping more serious charges such as aggravated vehicular homicide.

Frustration and Calls for Justice

Abdirahman’s family, including her father Mahdi Jama, expressed frustration with the handling of the case and the perceived leniency of Ortega’s sentence. They have initiated a civil case against Ortega and the establishment where he had been drinking prior to the crash.

Despite the challenges in obtaining justice, the family finds solace in the belief that Abdirahman’s death occurred during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, signifying a spiritual significance in her passing.

As the community continues to grapple with the aftermath of this tragic incident, questions remain about the thoroughness and transparency of the investigation and the pursuit of justice for Naimo Abdirahman.