Bodycam video of fatal OIS in Ohio hospital released

The shooting of Miles Jackson has sparked days of unrest in Columbus, Ohio

By Bethany Bruner
The Columbus Dispatch

COLUMBUS, Ohio — More than 48 hours after shots were fired inside the emergency room of a Westerville hospital, Columbus police identified two officers who had discharged their weapons and body camera footage of the incident was released.

Miles Jackson, 27, of Columbus' Northwest Side, was killed in an exchange of gunfire with officers at Mount Carmel St. Ann's medical center. Columbus police on Wednesday afternoon identified officers Andrew Howe and Ryan Kirchbaum, both 15-year veterans, as officers who were involved in the shooting.

Westerville police Chief Charles Chandler said Monday that at least one St. Ann's security officer also had fired a weapon. St. Ann's has refused to identify that any of its officers involved in the incident, citing privacy and the ongoing investigation into the shooting being led by the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation.

Body camera footage released Wednesday afternoon from Columbus police officers inside Mount Carmel St. Ann’s emergency room from Monday afternoon shows officers took many measures to avoid the ultimate outcome.

As Howe and Kirchbaum searched Jackson, they found a bullet in a pocket and then a firearm in his groin area, according to the body camera video.

The video shows Kirchbaum discovering the weapon and gesturing to Howe. The men attempt to handcuff Jackson and give him multiple orders to show his right hand, which appears stuffed in a pocket.

Kirchbaum uses a Taser on Jackson. During a struggle, one round is discharged by Jackson through his pants. Kirchbaum and Jackson both fall to the ground and outside the view of Howe’s camera.

Howe attempts to fire his weapon and appears to discharge one round before the handgun malfunctions.

As Jackson and Kirchbaum remain on the ground, security officers from the hospital arrive at the room. Over the course of about three minutes, more than 85 orders are given for Jackson to let go of the gun and show officers his right hand.

After about three minutes, a Taser can be heard deploying and then a shot can be heard.

Kirchbaum says,“I’m hit,” before a volley of gunfire from officers can be heard. Kirchbaum’s bulletproof vest was grazed by the bullet.

Jackson had been taken to the emergency room at St. Ann's on Monday after he was found suffering from a medical issue inside a vehicle parked on a Westerville street.

Westerville police determined Jackson was wanted on outstanding warrants from Columbus police for domestic violence and possessing a firearm as a convicted felon, so they escorted Westerville medics transporting Jackson to St. Ann's.

Around 2:20 p.m. Monday, Jackson exchanged gunfire with Howe and Kirchbaum, as well as at least one St. Ann's security officer in a treatment area inside the St. Ann's emergency department. Three other St. Ann's security officers and at least one Westerville officer were in the room at the time, but information has not been provided as to how many of officers in total may have discharged their firearms.

Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost said in a statement Wednesday that preliminary ballistic investigation results showed Jackson had a firearm in his possession and had fired that weapon multiple times.

"We can confirm through preliminary ballistic testing that the decedent had a gun and shots were fired," Yost said. "BCI continues to interview witnesses and complete further forensic analysis to determine all of the facts. Partial facts only provide partial truth."

Jackson was pronounced dead shortly after the gunfire stopped and the hospital's fire alarm system went off.

It is not yet known exactly how Jackson was able to bring a firearm into the hospital. According to Westerville police policy, officers "should search anyone who is in custody before releasing that person to EMS for transport."

Whether Jackson was in custody at the time he was being transported to the hospital or whether he was determined to be the subject of arrest warrants and in custody after arriving at the hospital has not been disclosed by Westerville police.

Chandler announced Wednesday he has placed officers Eric Everhart and David Lammert, the initial responders on the Jackson call, on administrative leave while an internal investigation is conducted. into how Jackson got a weapon into the emergency department. he emergency room shooting at Mount Carmel St. Ann's hospital on Monday, April 12.

Officers Eric Everhart and David Lammert were the initial responders to the call on Monday, and had the first encounter with Miles Jackson in the Chase parking lot near the hospital. The investigation will look into how and to what extent the officers followed proper policy and procedure from the time of the first contact to the transfer of custody.

Two 911 calls were placed from inside the emergency room after the shots were fired, one from a nurse and one from a doctor. Both said they heard multiple gunshots. The nurse told dispatchers she saw an additional officer running into the emergency department while she was on the phone with 911.

The Dispatch has also requested answers to questions from Chandler, but those answers have not yet been provided.

Following Jackson's death, demonstrators gathered Monday night at a Westerville intersection near St. Ann's and then marched to the hospital to protest. Protesters gathered again Tuesday night and were expected to rally again Wednesday night to challenge fatal police shootings involving Jackson and other Blacks elsewhere.

On Tuesday night, protesters and police clashed at police headquarters in Downtown Columbus after some among a crowd of more than 100 outside broke into the secured building. Police used pepper spray to disperse the crowd.

The group had marched through Downtown streets and congregated outside the division's Marconi Boulevard headquarters before the clash.

Hunter Mattin, 20, an Ohio State University student from Wauseon in northwest Ohio, was arrested and charged with aggravated burglary during the confrontation.

According to court records and police, Mattin was one of the people who entered police headquarters after handcuffs securing the doors to the first-floor of police headquarters were disabled. While being escorted back outside, Mattin is accused of using a wooden club to strike a police sergeant in the face and chest.

Sgt. Justin Coleman, who is Black, suffered a cut lip and was taken to a hospital for further evaluation. Coleman is the son of former Columbus mayor Michael Coleman.

Following the clash, Mayor Andrew J. Ginther posted on social media saying that he understood the frustrations felt by the Black community, but that violence should not be part of protests.

"Let me be clear: Violence and destruction will not be tolerated," he posted.

We share the frustrations over police killings of unarmed Black men, and we support nonviolent protests. That does not include breaking into public buildings or violence against officers. Let me be clear: Violence and destruction will not be tolerated.

— Mayor Andrew Ginther (@MayorGinther) April 14, 2021

City Council President Shannon Hardin also issued a statement on Wednesday calling for protesters to remain peaceful.

"Just as we are calling to hold law enforcement to a much higher standard, I pray that in the coming days, we hold ourselves to a high standard," he said. "Seeing a peaceful Columbus protest devolve with a few individual acts of violence does not speed up an investigation or advance justice. Council does not condone violence or unnecessary force against protestors or by protestors."

The group had initially gathered around 8 p.m. outside police headquarters where a series of demonstrators spoke to the crowd through a megaphone. They mentioned not only Jackson, but also Duante Wright, a 20-year-old Black man who was fatally shot by a Brooklyn Center, Minnesota, police officer during a traffic stop.

Speakers also referenced the killings of Casey Goodson Jr., a 23-year-old Black man fatally shot Dec. 4 y Franklin County Sheriff's deputy Jason Meade as he attempted to enter his residence in the Northland area; and Andre Hill, a 47-year-old unarmed Black man shot and killed Dec. 23 by former Columbus police officer Adam Coy, who has since been indicted for murder.

The crowd then marched through the street east on Long Street and south on High Street.

The crowd briefly stopped on High Street on the west side of the Ohio Statehouse to chant slogans such as "Black lives matter" and "Whose streets? Our streets" before moving on and, heading west on State Street and North on Front Street, ending where they started.

The demonstration had appeared to be coming to an end before tensions flared with police at a west-facing door to Division of Police headquarters.

A day before, protesters gathered Monday night near the hospital at the corner of South Cleveland Avenue and West Schrock Road on Monday night within hours of Jackson's death.

After sunset, that group of about 50 marched on the sidewalk toward the medical center, where they shouted at police staged in the parking lot and continued to chant.

A megaphone in hand, Hana Abdur-Rahim, a community organizer and activist from the South Side, led the protesters most of the way.

Just as she did nearly every night last fall, and last summer, and late last spring, and then again in December and in the winter months that followed, Hana Abdur-Rahim marched through on city streets again Monday night. And Tuesday night. And probably in the coming days.

Because police killed another Black man and nothing has changed, she said.

“I’m feeling a sense of redundancy in the sense that this keeps happening and the police in the city seem to have the same script every time,” said Abdur-Rahim, who acknowledged the circumstances of Jackson's death differed from that of Goodson and Hill. “And the police are never held accountable.”

(c)2021 The Columbus Dispatch (Columbus, Ohio)

McClatchy-Tribune News Service

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