COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) – The trial of a Columbus police officer started Tuesday, connected to the department’s response to the protests during the summer of 2020.
Columbus Police Sgt. Holly Kanode is charged with falsification and dereliction of duty. She is one of three officers charged by a special prosecutor hired by the city to investigate the department’s response to the protests.
Special prosecutor Kathleen Garber argued Kanode knowingly and recklessly made false claims about a protester that led to that person’s arrest.
Garber called the protester at the center of the case, Nadia Lynch, to the stand Tuesday. Lynch testified to how she was peacefully protesting, then described what happened during the encounter with police.
“I was thrown down on the ground, at which point, I was kind of protected because I felt, like, getting pummeled and I just put my hand over my head, just to protect my head,” she said.
Kanode’s defense team said there’s no way to prove what Kanode believes at the time the protester was arrested.
“The evidence will show that Sgt. Kanode had no other purpose other than to relay the information of what she had believed she believed she had seen on May 30, 2020, definitely with no purpose to incriminate.”
Lynch was arrested under suspicion of assaulting a peace officer. She was ultimately charged with resisting arrest and disorderly conduct, but those charges were eventually dropped.
Kanode waived her right to a jury trial, meaning the judge in the case will make the ruling.
Kanode and the other two officers are on leave from the department pending the outcome of the charges against them.