Crowd protesting fatal Ohio OIS tries to breach police HQ

Demonstrators managed to get through the first set of doors, but were met by officers at a second set of doors, officials said


By Cliff Pinckard, cleveland.com
cleveland.com

COLUMBUS, Ohio — Officers used pepper-spray Tuesday night on people protesting a police shooting in Columbus after demonstrators tried to force their way police headquarters, according to reports.

Police tell WCMH Channel 4 that one officer was hit in the head by a stick during the confrontation at the headquarters, although it’s unclear if it was intentional or accidental. WBNS Channel 10 reports pepper-spray was used on an officer.

Protesters yell towards the police surrounding Columbus Division of Police headquarters after pepper spray was deployed on a group after they broke a lock and entered the building on April 13, 2021.
Protesters yell towards the police surrounding Columbus Division of Police headquarters after pepper spray was deployed on a group after they broke a lock and entered the building on April 13, 2021. (Kyle Robertson/Columbus Dispatch)

The crowd of about 50 demonstrators gathered downtown Tuesday night in response to the fatal shooting of a suspect Monday by police and security officers in the emergency room of Mount Carmel St. Ann’s Hospital in Westerville.

The demonstration started peacefully at a downtown park with a vigil and a balloon release, WBNS reports. The group then marched to police headquarters.

[READ: 5 steps of riot prep: How to do crowd control correctly]

Columbus Police Sgt. James Fuqua tells WCMH the crowd began to leave the area, but some returned and began to try to break into the locked doors of the police headquarters. Demonstrators managed to get through the first set of doors, but were met by officers at a second set of doors.

Police say a protester used pepper-spray on officers. Police then pepper-sprayed demonstrators, reports say. At least one person was detained, ABC 6 reports. Fuqua tells WCMH it’s unknown if the person will face charges.

“We share the frustrations over police killings of unarmed Black men, and we support nonviolent protests,” Columbus Mayor Andrew Ginther said in a statement on Twitter Tuesday night. “That does not include breaking into public buildings or violence against officers. Let me be clear: Violence and destruction will not be tolerated.”

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McClatchy-Tribune News Service

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