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Police allegedly hit a young male double amputee with pepper spray and tried to take his prosthetic legs as protests in Columbus, Ohio, turned violent on Sunday.
Witnesses say the unarmed man was ‘knocked over, maced, and had to flee from cops on his hands, to find medical help’.
After the police refused to give the man’s legs back, protesters rushed officers, grabbed the legs and returned them to the young man.
Warning: Contains distressing scenes:
Redditor u/meanmrbadger uploaded the shocking footage to the sub Reddit r/Columbus with the title ‘CPD just hit and maced a double amputee. Bravo, you heroes. Unarmed, no legged, they dgaf’ on Sunday evening, June 21.
The footage was shared on Twitter by Laurenn McCubbin, Assistant Professor at the Columbus College of Art & Design, on Twitter a few hours later.
She explained her husband had seen the events play out.
The eyewitness Redditor explained in the replies the incident took place on Broad and High in the city’s downtown area.
He added: ‘More context: this is High Street about 80 yds north of Broad. This kid was so fucking scared he sprinted up high on his hands. The only reason his prosthetics are there is bystanders snatched them back and caught up with him.’
Further footage from Columbus showed police using their bicycles as battering rams against protesters, going against the city mayor’s statement earlier in the week that called for restraint.
Mayor Andrew Ginther said police could deal with violent protesters, but ‘those on the other side who are truly peaceful, who are truly non-violent, who are truly non-aggressive need to have the space and deserve to have the space to exercise their First Amendment rights, and we should embrace that.’
The use of pepper spray against non-violent protesters was also banned by the Mayor and City Council.
Mayor Ginther said in response as to why police reacted the way they did on Sunday because ‘they were met with violence from some and took action, including using mace and pepper spray as appropriate to keep crowds in sidewalks’.
After footage of the police using bikes as battering rams aginst protesters appeared on Twitter, the manufacturer of the police bikes, Cannondale, issued a statement in response to the footage.
‘We’re upset and dismayed to see our bikes used in this manner as it goes against why we make bikes in the first place,’ they wrote. ‘We stopped selling to police departments years back, but we hoped they would be used as tools to bring communities together.’
TMZ was told by police that they are investigating the incident.
If you have been affected by any of the issues in this article and wish to speak to someone in confidence, contact Stop Hate UK by visiting their website www.stophateuk.org/talk
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