Police Accused Of Pepper-Spraying Double Amputee, ‘Stealing’ His Prosthetic Legs
In social media posts to Twitter and Reddit, police in Columbus, Ohio have been accused of taking two prosthetic legs from a double amputee who was pepper-sprayed during a clash between law enforcement and demonstrators on June 21.
A video posted to Reddit and Twitter portrays “the aftermath, after demonstrators retrieved [his] legs from police.” The double amputee can be seen lying on the ground as someone pours water over his eyes. A man screams for a “medic,” and two prosthetic legs lie detached on the ground.
The anonymous poster wrote,
Police struck a young man, knocking him to the ground and macing him before stealing his prosthetic legs so he couldn’t escape.
Lauren McCubbin, a professor at the Columbus College of Art & Design, Tweeted that her husband was present at the scene. She wrote,
Today in Columbus my husband was downtown at the protests & saw the cops hit & mace an unarmed kid and then STEAL HIS PROSTHETIC LEGS.
For everyone asking: the protesters begged the cops for the legs back, cops refused. Then a group rushed the cops (getting maced) and were able to grab the legs back & get them back to the kid.
This kid, who was doing nothing but exercising his 1st amendment rights, was knocked over, maced, and had to flee from the cops ON HIS HANDS, to find medical help.
Sergeant Fuqua later defended the actions of police, saying that police “absolutely used maximum restraint in using pepper spray as our last resort.”
10TV News reported earlier that week on June 19 that in response to their questions about police response to protestors and community unrest, Columbus city attorney Zach Klein said,
We want to be abundantly clear that police should and could deal with violent individuals, deal with those who are endangering others or endangering the safety and physical harm of police officers or vandalizing or looting or destroying business or even committing arson, as you saw this week in the City of Columbus, that those people must be held accountable and should. And those on the other side who are truly peaceful, who are truly non-violent, who are truly non-aggressive need to have the space and deserve to have the space to exercise their First Amendment rights, and we should embrace that.
And Jeffrey Furbee, the chief police legal advisor for the city’s attorney’s office, wrote the following in a memo dated June 17, as reported by 10TV News.
No officer should confuse limitations on the use of pepper spray against non-aggressive and non-violent individuals to mean that an officer cannot use reasonable force to protect victims or themselves from violent crime.