COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) — A punch thrown by a Columbus police officer has been seen thousands of times on social media, but cruiser video moments after the incident show something else that the public may not have seen.
Officer Anthony Johnson is one of the officers who responded to a report of shots fired Friday evening. Cell phone video went viral over the weekend, showing a tense situation between officers and residents, ending with Johnson punching a man.
In the newly released video from Columbus Police, Johnson is seen having a heart-to-heart conversation with Jonathan Robinson, the man who Johnson punched.
“You got a job, you have a wife, a family to watch over. I want you to do better. I’d rather you be at work than out here in the streets doing something,” Johnson said.
Both Robinson and Johnson agreed that they would change the events of that evening if they could.
“I wish we could go back in time and have this conversation before any of it ever happened, but unfortunately, we can’t,” Johnson told Robinson.
Robinson opened up to Johnson about his dreams of owning a landscaping company and Johnson encouraged Robinson to invest in real estate to help provide for his family.
“You have a family man, you know what I mean. This could’ve been bad,” Johnson said.
“You’re right. I was thinking about it. I promise you I was thinking about it, man,” Robinson replied. “Processing it afterwards was like, ‘I could’ve did this better, could’ve did that better.”
At a press conference Tuesday, Fraternal Order of Police president Keith Ferrell addressed the incident involving officer Johnson and said he will wait to make a comment until all the facts are released.