WARREN, Ohio (WKBN) – A former Warren police officer who was convicted of lying about a shooting apologized in court on Tuesday.
It happened in January 2020 and sent police officers on a frantic search for a suspect, but it turns out the story was false.
Noah Linnen pleaded guilty in October to felony charges of tampering with evidence, inducing panic and disrupting public service.
On Tuesday we learned Linnen will spend time in prison for what he did.
“I am deeply ashamed of my actions on that day,” he said.
Speaking out publicly for the first time since his arrest, Linnen addressed the court about what happened last year on Jan. 13.
“I went from being a police officer who had sworn to uphold and follow the law, from someone who made police work his life and would never do anything that would jeopardize not only his image but the image of all officers everywhere, to someone who was so broken that I made a series of bad decisions,” he said.
Linnen said he had a “mental breakdown” that day.
Prosecutors said he used his police-issued radio and said he was shot at by a Black man in a dark-colored SUV.
It sent roughly 60 police officers rushing to his aid and prompted traffic stops. Law enforcement officers even surrounded an apartment building in an attempt to find the culprit.
During the course of the investigation, Linnen changed his story several times and finally admitted to making it up to cover him accidentally firing his duty weapon.
“The Black man in a hoodie is a very suspect statement made in today’s society right now and the court can’t overlook that,” said Judge Andrew Logan.
Linnen said he has sought professional help and has since been diagnosed with a “serious disorder,” although he did not specify what it was.
“I hope that all those affected can forgive me as I am truly sorry for what I did and what problems it caused,” Linnen said.
“The damage that Mr. Linnen did to the Warren City Police Department and the African American community in Warren City, there’s nothing that he can do to make up for that,” said Asst. Prosecutor Mike Burnett.
Linnen was sentenced to nine months at the Lorain Correctional Institution and ordered to pay back more than $10,000 in restitution for the police manpower who responded that night.
Tuesday in court, Linnen said he was “deeply ashamed” of his actions and said he had a “mental breakdown” that day.