1 charged, officer injured after crowd breaches Columbus police headquarters

Credit: Columbus Police Department

Credit: Columbus Police Department

One person is facing charges, a police sergeant is injured and several people were hit with pepper spray after a crowd briefly forced its way inside the Columbus Division of Police Headquarters late Tuesday, according to our news partners at WBNS-TV.

Members of the crowd and at least one police officer were hit with pepper spray, and one sergeant was hit with a stick. The sergeant was taken to the hospital and suffered minor injuries.

One person, Hunter Mattin, was charged with aggravated burglary, according to the Columbus Department of Public Safety. A photo shared by the department alleged to showed Mattin with a club. Police are reviewing video to identify additional suspects.

WBNS-TV reported that members of the group were at Mayme Moore Park earlier Tuesday evening for a vigil and balloon release protesting the deaths of Black people by law enforcement officers.

Around 50 people then gathered outside of police headquarters and marched around the area, with Columbus Police Sgt. James Fuqua telling WBNS that protests remained peaceful until the group returned to the headquarters.

Fuqua said that demonstrators began to pull on the doors, which were locked, and managed to get past the first set. He said that police told demonstrators to leave, and at least one officer was pepper sprayed.

The sergeant said police also used pepper spray.

Video taken and posted to Twitter by The Lantern, Ohio State University’s student newspaper, shows protesters crowding around the open set of doors before abruptly running back, some calling for water.

Columbus Mayor Ginther tweeted late Tuesday that the mayor’s office shares frustrations over police killings of unarmed Black men and supports nonviolent protests, but condemned those breaking into the police headquarters and those who assaulted officers, writing, “Violence and destruction will not be tolerated.”

This incident comes after nights of protests in the Minneapolis area due to the fatal shooting of a Black man by a Brooklyn Center police officer during a traffic stop on Sunday.

About the Author