COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) — The charges against a Columbus police officer connected to Downtown protests in the summer of 2020 have been dropped.
Charges against Officer Traci Shaw of assault, interfering with civil rights and dereliction of duty were dismissed, the Fraternal Order of Police and the special prosecutor in the case confirmed.
Kathleen Garber, the special prosecutor retained by Columbus to investigate police misconduct during the protests, said Wednesday that the person who made the complaint agreed to drop the charges in exchange for a meeting with Shaw. An acquittal in an earlier trial against Sgt. Holly Kanode influenced her decision.
“For over two years she was infuriated, having lived with fear and confusion as to why she was pepper-sprayed,” Garber said. “She didn’t understand why she couldn’t approach and talk with the officer while simply trying to figure out a way to safely get home.
“The complainant said based on the outcome of Sgt. Kanode’s trial — and her doubts about the justice system providing accountability — she felt more could be accomplished by sitting down with Officer Shaw and having her agree to additional training.”
The charges stemmed from a May 30, 2020, incident in which prosecutors claimed Shaw pepper-sprayed four protesters.
Kanode was acquitted by a judge for protest-related charges, and officer Phillip Walls is scheduled to go on trial next month.