Columbus Police Officers Charged Linked To Protests

Three Columbus, Ohio police officers, including a training sergeant who was a member of the city’s Community Safety Advisory Commision, are facing misdemeanor charges stemming from their alleged actions during protests that happened last summer.

According to the Columbus Dispatch, the officers slated to be charged are Officer Traci Shaw, Officer Phillip Walls and Sgt. Holly Kanode. All three are scheduled to appear for an initial court hearing on July 8.

Shaw is facing three misdemeanor counts of assault, three counts of dereliction of duty and three counts of interference with civil rights. Walls is charged with two counts each of assault, dereliction of duty and interference with civil rights. Kanode is charged with one count of falsification and one count of dereliction of duty.

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Court records reveal Shaw’s charges stem from an alleged incident on May 30, 2020 in downtown Columbus. She is accused of exiting a cruiser and pepper spraying a group of women who were walking in the area.

According to those records, Walls’ charges stem from an incident a day earlier at the intersection of Broad and High streets during which he allegedly pepper sprayed two people who were on a sidewalk.

Kanode’s two charges are connected to the accusation she falsified a use of force report regarding an arrest that took also place May 30, 202. On body camera video, Kanode is heard saying the person that was arrested had thrown an officer to the ground, and indicated that in her report. The footage, however, does not show this occurring, according to the Dispatch.

Shaw is a 21-year police force veteran who Columbus Mayor Andrew Ginther selected as a member of the Columbus Community Safety Advisory Commission that issued recommendations, including the establishment of a civilian review board, in early 2020. She also teaches at the city’s police academy.

According to Interim Columbus chief Michael Woods, all three police officers involved will be “relieved of duty” status until the cases against them are resolved. They will reportedly serve on desk duty, the Dispatch said.

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