COLUMBUS (WCMH) — Columbus officials are asking for the public’s help in identifying people and police officers involved in incidents between police and protestors in May and June 2020 as it continues an independent investigation into police conduct.
Mayor Andrew J. Ginther launched the investigation in June. He established an email account for the public to send complaints, video and photographs. An independent committee reviewed the complaints, and a retired FBI agent was hired to investigate them.
The city released videos of four incidents at happened in downtown May 29-31, 2020 in November. Monday, they added more than a dozen additional incidents:
- May 30, a CPD Officer pulled off a protestor’s gas mask at the Ohio Statehouse
- On May 30, protestors were arrested at the corner of East Russell and North High
- On June 1, CPD Officers pepper-sprayed three reporters from the OSU Lantern
- On May 28, a CPD Officer pushes protestor near the Ohio Statehouse
- On May 29, females who are walking on the sidewalk are pepper-sprayed in downtown
- On May 30, CPD Officers pepper-spray protestors, Legal Observer and volunteer medics in Pearl Alley
- On May 30, female protestor was arrested by CPD Officers in downtown
- On May 29, protestors who are standing on the sidewalk are shot at with wooden bullets
- On May 29, a Police Officer pepper-sprayed a female in her face, while she was walking with her hands up
- On May 29, a bike Police Officer pepper-sprayed a female standing on the sidewalk across from the Statehouse
- On May 30, a Police Officer exited CPD cruiser 7315 and pepper-sprayed protestor walking on the sidewalk in the Short North
- On May 29, CPD Officers pepper-sprayed protestors standing on the sidewalk in downtown
- On May 30, CPD Officers deployed chemical agents on protestors who were on the sidewalk near the Statehouse
- On May 28, Police Officers shot projectiles at protestors who are in the street in downtown
- On May 28, a Police Officer pepper-sprayed a protestor who was holding a sign and standing in the street downtown
Videos of the encounters can be viewed here, along with ways to submit information, either publicly or anonymously.
According to a news release, as investigations are completed, findings will be turned over to a special prosecutor Kathleen Garber, who was hired by the Columbus City Attorney’s Office.
“There are so many officers that are not identified either as witness or subject officers,” Garber said about the videos released by the city. “If you take a look at the number of events, I believe it’s narrowed down to maybe 16 to 18 at this point you can assume with regard to each events there is at least one officer that we’re looking at, whether to see if he or she violated the law or whether they were acting reasonably in that incident.”
“I did not become a prosecutor to prosecute cops, but no one is above the law and that include law enforcement,” Garber added.