Columbus Police clear officer of wrongdoing in June assault; victim seeking $350K

Local News

COLUMBUS (WCMH) — An internal Columbus Police review has cleared Officer Anthony Johnson of any wrongdoing.

Johnson punched a man during a tense situation in a southside neighborhood in early June.

Despite the city’s findings, the attorney for the man on the receiving end of that punch has sent the city a demand for compensation.

The incident was well documented on both cell phone videos and police body cameras. There was no question about whether the punch was thrown. The issue was whether it violated the policy regarding use of force.

Johnson was one of a number of officers who responded to a call of possible gunfire.

The residents at the house and relatives tell officers they are not involved.

Jonathan Robinson, 25, confronts one officer out of concern for his wife and children. He does not comply when an officer asks him to step back. That’s when Johnson steps up and punches Robinson.

The internal police review found that Johnson’s level four use of force was justified, given the circumstances.

“Let’s make it clear: we don’t have to wait to be shot, punched, stabbed, or anything before we respond,” said Keith Ferrell of the Fraternal Order of Police. “Yes, well, people say, ‘That’s your job. That’s part of your job and you signed up knowing that.’ That doesn’t mean I signed up willingly to allow it to happen.”

RELATED: Local pastor brings Columbus police officer, man punched in viral video together

Meanwhile, Robinson and his brothers have retained an attorney and are demanding a total of $350,000 in compensation from the city for unlawful arrest and unlawful search and seizure.

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