Columbus Officer Returns To Patrol After Threatening To Choke Suspect

Oct 27, 2017

After Columbus Police officer Joseph Bogard was temporarily relieved of duty for inappropriate comments, his punishment was a written reprimand by the Chief of Police. Now, Bogard has returned to work.

In September, a group of Columbus officers confronted Timothy Davis, who was wanted on multiple arrest warrants, at a convenience store. During the incident, captured on cell phone video, officers violently forced Davis to the ground, punching and kicking him while yelling profanities. 

Though he was not involved in the arrest, Bogard afterwards was recorded on body camera remarking to another officer, "What did we tase him for? Why don't we choke the f— life out of him?"

Chief Kim Jacobs called Bogard's comments "inappropriate and unprofessional," and Bogard was taken off patrol duties while Internal Affairs investigated. Mayor Andrew Ginther and City Council both supported the decision to remove Bogard from duty.

"I am appalled by the statements made by this officer," Jacobs said at the time. "They are not consistent with the training of our officers."

A separate internal investigation was launched into the arrest itself.

Last month, a federal lawsuit was filed on behalf of Davis, suing the department for excessive use of force. Lori Brown Johnson, an attorney on Davis' legal team, said in a statement they're disappointed police did not take Bogard's actions more seriously.

"For an officer to receive only a written reprimand after describing how he would 'choke the life' out of someone and his being aroused after seeing a citizen beaten so badly, clearly demonstrates that the City of Columbus is not intent on resolving this pervasive problem with its police force," Johnson said.