Three Ohio police officers are facing criminal charges stemming from alleged misconduct last year at Black Lives Matter protests over the killing of George Floyd, officials said on Wednesday.
Special prosecutor Kathleen Garber, who was appointed by the City of Columbus to independently investigate complaints against members of the Columbus Division of Police during last year’s demonstrations, announced charges of dereliction of duty against the three officers, including two who face counts of assault and interfering with civil rights.
All of the charges are misdemeanors, Garber said in a statement.
“I was asked by the City of Columbus to independently evaluate the allegations of police misconduct from last summer’s protests so that both citizens and police officers are held to the same standard of accountability,” Garber’s statement read.
Garber said the investigation, which she is conducting with retired FBI agent Rick Wozniak, is ongoing and that other officers could be charged. Charges were filed against Sgt. Traci M. Shaw, Sgt. Holly Kanode and Officer Phillip Walls, Garber said.
Shaw and Walls, the two officers charged with misdemeanor assault and interfering with civil rights, are accused of pepper-spraying peaceful protesters during demonstrations that occurred on May 29 and 30 in downtown Columbus last year, according to Garber.