COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) – The last of three Columbus Division of Police officers accused of misconduct during the city’s summer 2020 protests has now avoided criminal charges.
Special Prosecutor Brad Nicodemus confirmed to NBC4 that he plans to file to dismiss charges of assault, dereliction of duty and interfering with civil rights against Officer Phillip Walls on Monday. Walls was the last of three members of CPD that was facing trial over accusations about their conduct during protests after the death of George Floyd.
Nicodemus announced at the end of May that they wouldn’t file charges against any other CPD officers. Of the three that did see charges, Sergeant Holly Kanode was the only one to go to trial. She had waived her right to a jury, so her attorneys and prosecutors both made their cases to Judge James P. O’Grady, who would return a verdict. O’Grady found Kanode not guilty of charges related to her lying to a fellow police officer about what a protester was doing.
Officer Traci Shaw also saw her charges, stemming from a claim she pepper-sprayed four protesters, dismissed on July 20. The person who made the complaint against her agreed to drop it in exchange for a meeting with the officer, according to the prosecutors. The complainant also wanted Shaw to agree to additional training.
Another special prosecutor on the case, Kathleen Garber, resigned the day after Shaw’s acquittal. She also filed to remove O’Grady as the judge in the duo’s cases before both were cleared. Garber accused O’Grady of admitting bias for CPD and the Fraternal Order of Police in her filing, but the Ohio Supreme Court denied her request to find a new judge.