A Columbus police officer shot and killed an unarmed black man, who was holding only a cell phone, as he responded to a noise complaint Tuesday morning, authorities said.
The Columbus Police Department said the shooting took place after cops responded to a non-emergency call in the early hours about a “man sitting in an SUV for an extended period” and turning it on and off. repeatedly his car.
The incident was supposed to be captured with body-worn cameras, but the two officers who responded did not turn on their devices until after the shooting. Columbus Mayor Andrew Ginther told a press conference Tuesday that he had asked Columbus Police Chief Thomas Quinlan “to fire the officer involved.” [from] duty and hand over his badge and weapon. The officer, however, will still be paid due to his contract.
“It is unacceptable to me and to the community that the officers did not turn on their cameras,” Ginther said. “Let me be clear. If you don’t turn on your body-worn camera, you cannot serve and protect the people of Columbus.”
“The community is exhausted,” he added.
Police said the body cameras had a 60-second “rollback” feature that captured the footage on video, but the “rollback” feature did not record audio. The silent video is expected to be released as early as Wednesday after being shared with the 47-year-old family, Ginther said. Neither the victim nor the cop involved has been identified.
Quinlan, who did not attend the press conference, said in a statement he was “troubled by the preliminary facts” – especially the decision not to turn on the cameras despite department policy.
“The Division has invested millions of dollars in these cameras for the express purpose of creating a video and audio recording of these types of encounters,” Quinlan said. are in question. “
Investigators say the neighbor called police at 1:37 a.m. to report the man sitting in an SUV parked on the street northwest of Columbus.
When officers arrived, they found “an open garage door and a man inside.” Preliminary inquiries indicate the man was visiting someone inside the house, police said.
According to a review of “retrospective” footage from one of the officer’s cameras, the 47-year-old then walked towards officers with a cell phone in his left hand. His right hand, however, was not visible.
“An officer fired his gun, hitting the 47-year-old man, who later died at 2:25 am at the OhioHealth Riverside Methodist Hospital,” police said.
It was not clear what prompted the officer to shoot his gun and police said no guns were found at the scene. Police also admitted that the footage showed “a delay in [the] give first aid to man. “
“I am deeply saddened, frustrated, angry and demanding answers to what happened in our community earlier this morning,” Ginther said. “I am committed to transparency and accountability within our police division.”
In his statement, Quinlan called this a “tragedy on many levels.” “Most importantly, a life has been lost. This must be our goal in the future, ”he said.
The Ohio Attorney General’s Office of Criminal Investigations is leading the investigation. The city is also reviewing the incident in accordance with police policy whenever an officer is involved in a shooting.
On Tuesday afternoon, Ginther said Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost asked him to delay the release of the body camera images until BCI had a chance to question at least l ‘one of the two agents involved. Ginther, however, said he planned to release it after Wednesday’s interview and after the 47-year-old family saw it.
“We know that BCI will conduct a full and independent investigation,” Quinlan said. “We promise to provide as much transparency as possible on our part, both with investigators and the public. Our community deserves the facts. If there is any evidence that laws or policies have been broken, leaders will be held accountable. “
According to Columbus Expedition, a handful of protesters appeared at Tuesday’s press conference, shouting at reporters and demanding answers on yet another tragic shooting. The incident comes weeks after Casey Goodson, a 23-year-old black man, was shot and killed by police in Columbus.
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