UPDATED: Columbus police use pepper spray after protesters breach headquarters


Group breached headquarters

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Police in Ohio’s capital city used pepper spray on a small group of people who briefly breached outer doors Tuesday night at the agency’s downtown headquarters.

The clash followed a largely peaceful protest downtown earlier in the evening where dozens marched after the fatal police shooting a day earlier of a Black man in a hospital emergency room.

Columbus police said Miles Jackson, 27, was the man killed at Mount Carmel St. Ann’s Hospital in suburban Columbus on Monday.

Protesters invoked that shooting as well as the killing of other Black men by police nationally, including the Sunday shooting of 20-year-old Daunte Wright in a Minneapolis suburb. A white police officer who authorities believe mistakenly fired her gun instead of a stun gun has resigned in Wright’s shooting.

Columbus Mayor Andrew Ginther backed the protesters’ cause but denounced the attempt by a few to later enter police headquarters.

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

One person was taken into custody in connection with the protest.

Events leading to Jackson’s shooting began earlier that day after Westerville officers responded to a report of a man — later identified as Jackson — passed out in a car and then followed medics to the hospital. Columbus police were called because Jackson had outstanding domestic violence and weapons warrants in the city.

Westerville police then initiated a transfer of custody, but during that transfer, “an altercation ensued” at about 2:15 p.m. Monday. That “resulted in the discharge of firearms” from the Columbus Division of Police and St. Ann’s security officers, according to a joint statement from police and the hospital.

Immediately after the shooting, Westerville Police Chief Charles Chandler described an “exchange of gunfire” in the emergency room. But the joint statement said only that an additional firearm was recovered at the scene.

Emergency room staff tried to revive Jackson, who was pronounced dead at the scene, authorities said. No officers, hospital staff or physicians were injured, officials said.

The Ohio Attorney General’s Bureau of Criminal Investigation is leading the investigation into the shooting.

Group breached headquarters