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COLUMBUS, Ohio (WJW) — Congresswoman Joyce Beatty, Franklin County Commissioner Kevin Boyce and Columbus City Council President Shannon Hardin were sprayed with mace or pepper spray during the police violence protests in Columbus Saturday morning.
According to our sister station WCMH, while the demonstration was underway a protester started scuffling with law enforcement. Police took that person down, which reportedly angered other protesters.
Representative Beatty (D-OH 3rd District) stepped in and tried to calm the situation when Columbus police began spraying. Hardin and Boyce pulled Beatty away.
Beatty came out to the protest to show her support for those protesting injustice.
“While it was peaceful, there were times where people got off the curb, into the street,” Beatty reportedly said. “Too much force is not the answer to this.”
Hardin shared a video on Twitter confirming they had been sprayed but also reassuring they were ok.
He issued his thanks to whoever gave him milk to help cleanse his eyes and encourages both protesters and police to stay calm.
“We understand that tensions are high. Our tensions are high as well. We are angry, and we need change. But the only way we will get change is by peaceful demonstrations,” Hardin told WCMH.
Protesters crowded the streets of downtown Columbus Saturday in effort to speak out against police brutality and the death of George Floyd.
Floyd, a handcuffed black man, died after a white Minneapolis police officer knelt on his neck during an arrest Monday. That police officer, Derek Chauvin, was arrested Friday and charged with third-degree murder and manslaughter.
Protests began in Columbus on Thursday. Ohio’s capitol building and several other businesses in Columbus were damaged after the demonstrations turned violent.