‘Facts matter’: Columbus police respond to viral photo showing officer with gun behind back

COLUMBUS, Ohio — The Columbus Police Department is responding to a photo circulating online of an officer holding a gun while talking to a suicidal individual.

Police say they were dispatched to a call of an individual known to be violent who was suicidal and armed with a knife.

A photo taken of the officer’s interaction with the person was circulated on social media and went viral. Social media users expressed concern and disagreed with the way they felt the officer approached the individual.

In a post later in the day on Facebook, the Columbus Police Department said the photo shows the officer “defending/protecting the public and himself against a potentially violent encounter.” It also pointed out that no one was hurt, and the man was taken for medical treatment.

The department’s post has now beenĀ  shared over 760 times.