Judge ordered Columbus police to change protest tactics

COLUMBUS — Police in Ohio’s capital last year responded to protesters against racial injustice and police atrocities using physical violence, tear gas, and pepper spray without provocation. Performed an “amock”, and a federal judge said on Friday that such a scenario would be different.

Judge Algenon Marbury said that most participants were such non-fatal by police, with a “mountain of evidence” that protesters were targeted while trying to leave the demonstrations according to police orders. He said he was peacefully protesting or observing when he was the victim of a reaction.

His 88-page opinion ordered police to stop using such tactics against non-violent protesters who did not harm people or destroy property. Marbury also said that police could not inflict pain to punish or deter protesters, and even if police officers were wearing riot control equipment, the cameras they wore and the cruiser’s cameras. Needed to work and show the badge number.

He also said that individuals who clearly identify themselves as reporters, health care workers, or legal observers must be allowed to record protests and help the injured.

“This is a sad story of a runaway police officer dressed in the awesome power of the nation,” Marbury wrote.

The city opposed the proceedings, claiming that police subsequently changed its policy to carry out most of what the protesters had requested.

However, the elected officials were also constantly critical of the police station of 1,900 police officers. Earlier this week, Mayor Andrew Ginther and Mayor Zach Klein (both Democrats) asked the Justice Department to consider police on “shortages and racial disparities” such as recruitment, employment, and the use of force. ..

“We need to change the culture of the police Columbus department,” the letter said, reflecting the words Ginther has used for years. Recently, the mayor said that the next police chief in the department must be a “change agent” coming from outside the department.

“Last summer, the city faced an unusual situation that hadn’t been seen for more than 20 years,” Ginther said in a statement on Friday. “Today’s ruling shows that our response was inadequate.” Subsequent protests without conflict show the city’s commitment to the type of change ordered by the judge. He said.

In a statement, Mr. Klein emphasized the need for a federal review of Marbury’s orders: “Respect nonviolent and peaceful protesters and do not use unnecessary and excessive force. It reflects the city’s belief.

In January, interim Columbus chief Thomas Inlan was deported after Ginther stated he had lost confidence in his ability to make the necessary changes.

The issue in the federal proceedings was the city’s response to a protest that began in late May after George Floyd’s death by Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin last week. Two manslaughter.

Columbus protests continued for several days in downtown, near Ohio State University, and elsewhere in the city. On the first night, protesters broke windows at the Ohio Statehouse and businesses throughout downtown.

In another episode, US Congressman Joyce Beity was hit by a pepper spray as a brawl broke out near the end of the May demonstration.

A newly released report on Monday found that Columbus was unprepared for the scale and energy of the protest and most police officers felt abandoned by city leaders during that period. discovered. The $ 250,000 report commissioned by the Columbus City Council also has no prior plans for the city to handle such protests, and when the protests begin, coordination and regular coordination between city leaders. I found myself suffering from a lack of communication.

Marbury’s order stems from a federal proceeding filed in July seeking financial damages for being injured in a police clash after Floyd’s death. A few days of hearings were held in front of Marbury earlier this year.

The proceedings state that peaceful demonstrators and bystanders were beaten, fired with wooden and rubber bullets, and illegally arrested during protests in late May and June.

A heart with the name of a black man who died in the hands of police is hung on the fence as part of a protest at the Ohio Statehouse in Columbus on June 6, 2020.

Judge ordered Columbus police to change protest tactics

Source link Judge ordered Columbus police to change protest tactics

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