A Columbus, Ohio special prosecutor has charges three Columbus police officers with misdemeanor dereliction of duty charges for their actions during last summer’s BLM protests in the city, ABC News reports.
Kathleen Garber, who was appointed by the City of Columbus to independently investigate complaints against members of the Columbus Division of Police during last year’s demonstrations, announced the charges, adding that two of the officers will also face misdemeanor counts of assault and interfering with civil rights.
Sgt. Traci M. Shaw and Officer Phillip Walls are charged with misdemeanor assault and interfering with civil rights for pepper spraying peaceful protesters during the May 29th and May 30th demonstrations.
In one case, Shaw is accused of accosting a man and his two female friends who were blocks away from the protests walking back to their home. Shaw drove her police car to the trio, jumped out of the car and dispersed pepper spray in their faces. One member of the group recorded the interaction on a phone, providing evidence to the special prosecutor.
Walls, a bicycle officer, used pepper spray on a group standing on a sidewalk talking amongst themselves. His own bodycam footage was the most damning evidence against him.
The final officer to be charged, Sgt. Holly Kanode, claimed that she threw a protester to the ground after the protester attempted to grab the equipment of another officer. Kanode’s bodycam footage showed that the protester made no motion to another officer before Kanode subdued him. She is also charged with falsifying a police report.