Columbus police identify ‘person of interest’ from protest; lawyer says post ‘inaccurate and reckless’

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COLUMBUS, Ohio (WJW) — Columbus police have identified a man who they called a “person of interest” seen at protests on Saturday.

Protesters gathered outside the Ohio Statehouse and through downtown Columbus Saturday, demonstrating against police brutality after the death of 46-year-old George Floyd, who died in Minneapolis police custody on Monday.

Authorities say that the majority of demonstrators remained peaceful, however, some chose to act violently. Some individuals threw objects at police, break and vandalize city property, set fires to buildings and vehicles, and broke into businesses.

**See the video above for a look at the protest**

On Sunday, the Columbus Division of Police shared a photo on their Facebook page asking for the community’s help in identifying a “person of interest.”

A short time later, they said the man had been identified.

Taylor Waters, an attorney who says she represents the man in the photo, released a statement to our sister station WCMH and says the version of the photo and video shared by Columbus police was misleading and from an unreliable source.

The photos and videos CPD previously shared regarding a person of interest were inaccurate and reckless. CPD shared an edited video from an unreliable and heavily biased source. The poster removed the portion of the video which clearly demonstrates a request for supplies. My client was not inciting violence, my client was seeking supplies to help people who had been injured by police officers. He did not pay anyone to cause property damage, break any law, or otherwise cause civil unrest. He is now the target of threats and fears for his and his family’s safety. If CPD would like to discuss this further and view the whole video, they may contact me. I have already attempted to reach out. 


Columbus police report that 59 people were arrested after Saturday’s protests and a city-wide curfew has been enacted from 10 p.m. until 6 a.m. It will remain in effect until Mayor Andrew Ginther chooses to rescind it.

Ohio Governor Mike DeWine also activated the National Guard Saturday to assist Columbus police with the violence.

Additionally, all downtown streets are closed indefinitely and anyone who needs to go downtown for work will be required to show ID. Anyone outside without authorization during the curfew window can be arrested.

Continuing coverage, here.

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