Protests in Columbus Over Death of George Floyd

Andy Downing
As police began to clear the protesters during the George Floyd protests around the Ohio Statehouse building in Columbus on Sunday, May 31, a woman drove her car toward a SWAT vehicle and then got out and sat down on the pavement.

For four straight nights, Columbus marched, rallied and chanted — and some people broke windows and looted — overcome with anger at the late May killing of George Floyd, who died while Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin kneeled on his neck for nearly nine minutes. The cries for justice were also related to the local police killings of black citizens such as Tyre KingHenry Green and Julius Tate Jr., among others.

The protests were largely peaceful, though each night ended in clouds of tear gas and volleys of wooden and rubber bullets, while Saturday’s Downtown rally was marred by a forceful police response that drew criticism from Columbus City Council members such as President Pro Tem Elizabeth Brown, who released a statement citing “heavy-handed aggression by police,” and Council President Shannon Hardin, who was among a crowd pepper-sprayed by officers with the Columbus Division of Police early on Saturday. “I saw police that were not showing as much restraint as what the moment required,” Hardin told Alive by phone later that evening.

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