Special Prosecutor To Examine Girl's Drowning - Cleveland 19 News Cleveland, OH

Special Prosecutor To Examine Girl's Drowning

EUCLID, Ohio (AP) - A special prosecutor will decide whether two lifeguards should face criminal charges in the drowning death of a 13-year-old girl in a city pool.

Law Director Patrick Murphy said the investigation would cover any liability the city has for the drowning of Aminata Diallo, of Brooklyn, N.Y., on July 16.

Murphy enlisted Independence Prosecutor Thomas Gill because Euclid Prosecutor Rick Wiegand's cousin is married to an aunt of one of the lifeguards.

Gill said he would review police reports, witness statements and pool policies and procedures. He said he would decide whether the two male lifeguards, ages 17 and 18, should be charged with misdemeanor criminal negligence.

Diallo was staying with an aunt at a nearby apartment complex when she drowned in Valley Pool.

A police report indicates that the lifeguards supervised about 30 children from a guardhouse instead of the pool's edge and that the water may have been too cloudy to see the girl.

Lawyer George Forbes is representing the girl's parents, who immigrated from the African nation of Senegal and do not speak English.

"The city's been very open about this," Forbes said. "They didn't try to hide the fact that something drastic happened."

(Copyright 2002 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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