Columbus Division of Police has reinstated Officer Zachary Rosen, who was fired by the city of Columbus in July for using "unreasonable" force.
In a statement, Columbus Mayor Andrew Ginther said he disagrees with the arbitration decision.
"We believe the Public Safety Director’s decision for termination was the correct one. However, we respect and will abide by the legally-binding arbitrator’s decision," the statement says. "The details and timing of his reinstatement are being determined by Police Chief Kim Jacobs.”
In April, Rosen was caught on cell phone video kicking a restrained suspect in the head. That suspect, Demarko Anderson, was found to be carrying crack and a gun and was suspected in a house shooting earlier that day.
Rosen self-reported the incident, and four lower-ranking police supervisors said they believed his actions were within policy. However, Columbus Police said that kicking was an "untrained technique" in violation of the Use of Force Directive.
Chief Kim Jacobs recommended a three-day suspension for Rosen, but Columbus Public Safety director Ned Pettus opted to fire Rosen instead. Both Columbus City Council and Mayor Andrew Ginther supported that original decision.
“We are disappointed and disagree with the arbitrator’s decision to reinstate Columbus Police Officer Zach Rosen," said Columbus Council president Shannon Hardin. "We expect officers to uphold the well-being of all citizens. Therefore, like Mayor Ginther, we believe Public Safety Director Pettus made the correct decision when he terminated Officer Rosen. This council understands the arbitrator’s decision is legally binding and final. We will follow the current process and abide by this decision.”
However, the Fraternal Order of Police Lodge #9 filed for arbitration and appealed Rosen's firing. They said Ginther's comments after the incident "made it impossible for Officer Rosen to be treated fairly based upon the actual facts and circumstances of his case."
In a 28-page arbitration ruling, arbitrator Mitchell Goldberg said that Rosen used more force than necessary but there was no evidence he was trying to injure the suspect.
With his reinstatement, Rosen will face a reduced punishment, the equivalent of a three-day suspension without pay.
Rosen is the third officer in the last decade rehired by Columbus Police after an appeal from the FOP. An investigation by WOSU found that 14 officers have been fired from the division, for reasons ranging from dishonesty to drug offenses.
According to the Columbus Dispatch, Rosen will be updated on training but eventually return to patrolling the same North Linden area where he previously worked.