Columbus Police Reviewing Footage Of Disabled Protesters' Arrests

Jul 12, 2017

Columbus Police Chief Kim Jacobs says her department is reviewing video footage of several arrests of disabled protesters outside the Columbus offices of Sen. Rob Portman last week to see if police acted appropriately.

In a Facebook video posted late Tuesday, Jacobs said her department is using footage captured by protesters, police officer body cameras, and security cameras to determine if officers acted within department policy.

Jacobs specifically mentioned one clip that appears to show a Columbus officer pushing a woman in a wheelchair just before the woman abruptly falls forward.

“We’re trying to determine how that occurred,” Jacobs said of the incident.

"What we saw were police pulling people out of their wheelchairs without any regard for their safety," says Ken Eno, who came to the Friday protest from New York to support family members with disabilities.

The protest, which also brought more than 50 police officers to the scene, was organized by the disability rights group ADAPT. ADAPT has been holding protests around the country to oppose the GOP health care bill and cuts to Medicaid.

Sixteen people were arrested after Jacobs says they blocked medics from responding to a medical emergency call that never materialized.

Jacobs says medics were call to suite number 1170 inside the building at 37. W. Broad Street. When medics arrived, they were unable to find the person who needed help, nor the person who called medics.

The suite where the call originated houses the offices of the Wholesale Beer & Wine Association of Ohio.