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Congresswoman Joyce Beatty

Representing the 3rd District of Ohio

Ohio police officer who fatally shot Black man, 47, did not turn bodycam on

Dec 23, 2020
News Articles

The Ohio police officer who fatally shot a 47-year-old Black man has been “relieved of duty” in Columbus after it was discovered he did not turn on his body camera during the incident.

The city’s second fatal police shooting in just one month has shocked the entire community.

Mayor Andrew J. Ginther, addressing the shooting on Twitter, called the community “still raw and exhausted from the killings of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and, most recently, Casey Goodson, Jr., right here in Columbus.” (Photo by Kirk Irwin/Getty Images)

On Twitter, Mayor Andrew J. Ginther expressed it.

“Our community is still raw and exhausted from the killings of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and, most recently, Casey Goodson, Jr., right here in Columbus,” he wrote.

“The officer involved did not turn on their body-worn camera — which is unacceptable,” Ginther tweeted. “The officer involved has been relieved of duty, requiring him to turn in his badge and gun, stripping him of police powers pending the outcome of the criminal and internal investigations.”

The shooting occurred early Tuesday morning, at 1:37 a.m., when an unidentified man holding a cellphone inside a friend’s garage was shot by the also-unnamed officer, who was among a pair responding to a noise complaint. A neighbor called the police because the man was sitting in a car turning the engine of an SUV on and off.

The two officers were responding to a “non-emergency” call, so they did not turn on lights or sirens, which would have triggered filming inside their patrol call.

The shooting is being investigated by the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation.

A “look back” function on the officer’s camera automatically turned on, obtaining 60 seconds of video with no audio after the incident. The short captured video shows there was “a delay in rendering of first-aid to the man,” according to the statement from the Columbus Police Department.

Neither officer who responded to the call turned on their body cameras, but only the officer who fired the fatal shot has been suspended.

This police-involved shooting occurred less than three weeks after Franklin County Sheriff’s Deputy Jason Meade fatally shot 23-year-old Casey Goodson Jr., an incident that sparked Columbus protests. A probe into that killing has also been launched.

“There are not enough words to express the pain and anger I feel that another Black man has been killed in our community at the hands of law enforcement in less than a month,” Ohio Rep. Joyce Beatty, the congresswoman whose district contains Columbus and its suburbs, said in a statement Tuesday. “While we do not know all of the facts, what I do know is that this is unacceptable.”

Beatty said she’s “greatly concerned and call into question police procedures as well as the timing and inconsistent use of body cameras.”

Columbus Police Chief Thomas Quinlan called the shooting “a tragedy on many levels.”

“Our community deserves the facts,” Quinlan said in a news release. “If evidence determines that laws or policies were violated, officers will be held accountable.”

This article was originally published by The Grio on December 23, 2020.