Member Of Congress Hit With Pepper Spray At Protest Speaks Out

May 31, 2020

A member of Congress from Central Ohio was with two local officials and other protestors when she was hit with pepper spray at a protest in Columbus.

Democratic Congresswoman Joyce Beatty says she went to the protest outside the Statehouse Saturday morning to lend her voice to the fight against racism and injustice. She said most of the protestors were calm but when a scuffle broke out next to where she was standing, a police officer used pepper spray.

“I learned pepper spray is not one direction.”

Beatty suggests officers deploy bullhorns to make their orders heard over loud crowds but should allow people to safely express themselves.

“People are hurting  and we cannot and what I think has been proven is unnecessary and excessive force does not work.”

The president of the Fraternal Order of Police, Keith Farrell, issued a statement defending actions taken by Columbus Police and blamed Mayor Andrew Ginther for tying the hands of police in situations involving out of control protestors.