COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) — A federal jury found Columbus police officers not liable Tuesday on civil charges related to the 2016 shooting death of Henry Green.
Green, 23, was shot and killed by Columbus police officers Zachary Rosen and Jason Bare, who were in plainclothes, during a June 2016 confrontation in South Linden.
The jury, who heard the case in the U.S. District Court of the Southern District of Ohio, found Rosen and Bare not liable on all seven civil counts, including assault and battery, and excessive force, court records state.
“The past five years have undoubtedly been hard for all of those involved, and we’re grateful for the judge “The City Attorney’s Office takes seriously all use of force cases, especially those that result in a tragic loss of life. The past five years have undoubtedly been hard for all of those involved, and we’re grateful for the judge and the two juries who devoted the substantial time and attention required to fully understand, deliberate, and ultimately decide this case. We respect the decision delivered” Columbus City Attorney Zach Klein said in a statement.
Green’s mother, Adrienne Hood, filed a wrongful death lawsuit in 2017 in which she alleged that the officers, both of whom are white, used excessive force and failed to identify themselves to her son as law enforcement. Police said Green, a Black man, ignored commands to drop his gun.
A federal judge dismissed the suit in 2017, granting Rosen and Bare qualified immunity, and shortly after, in February 2018, the Columbus Division of Police and the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigations determined that both officers acted within division policy during the shooting.
But, in September 2020, a three-judge panel of the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals reversed the federal judge’s ruling after reviewing the last shots that Rosen and Bare fired at Green.
A mistrial was declared in the case in November 2021 after federal jurors reached a deadlock — and the case was retried for a second time this year.
Sean Walton, an attorney representing Hood, said Green’s family is disappointed with the decision but sees the civil trial itself as a step in the right direction toward police reform.
Walton’s full statement reads:
“We’re obviously disappointed with the jury’s decision. We don’t feel that it is reflective of the eyewitness, scientific and circumstantial evidence presented against Officers Bare and Rosen. However, we will continue the fight to expose the truth of this tragedy and the lengths the city of Columbus has gone to in order to defend the same officer that they previously fired for excessive force shortly after this incident. This civil trial was the first that the city has had to defend for a police shooting in 15 years and that in itself provides hope and optimism that accountability is on the horizon. However, the people of this city should not have to fight their own leaders who continue to use qualified immunity as a sword to defend bad officers. They cannot continue to claim to be for the people when they so aggressively fight to discredit and gaslight the people.”Sean L. Walton, attorney for the Green family