Ohio Representative Joyce Beatty (D-OH-03) and at least two other Ohio elected officials were pepper-sprayed in downtown Columbus during George Floyd protests on Saturday afternoon.
Beatty, Franklin County Commissioner Kevin Boyce, and Columbus City Council President Shannon Hardin were sprayed after a protester got into a scuffle with law enforcement, Fox News reported.
VIDEO: U.S. Congresswoman Joyce Beatty of Ohio being pepper sprayed by Columbus Police during protest
— Tim Ryan Renaud (@TimWCBD) May 30, 2020
Hardin, after the incident, posted a video on Twitter saying that all three of them were ok.
“Just want to let folks know that when @RepBeatty @VoteBoyce and I were down at the protest we did get sprayed with mace or pepper spray. We are all ok, and we want to encourage folks, both police and protestors, to stay calm.”
Hardin said in the video that the only way we will get change is through peaceful demonstrations.
“We adopt the means of nonviolence because our end is a community at peace with itself. We will try to persuade with our words, but if our words fail, we will try to persuade with our acts.” – MLK #JusticeForAll pic.twitter.com/rXwT8FtXZN
— Joyce Beatty (@RepBeatty) May 30, 2020
Beaty spoke after Hardin and she said that the protest was mostly peaceful, but there were “times where people got off the curb and into the street.” However, she said that “too much force is not the answer to this.”
“We want to continue to protest, but it must be peaceful,” she said. “And that does not mean that we are not standing up for justice.”
Just want to let folks know that when @RepBeatty @VoteBoyce and I were down at the protest we did get sprayed with mace or pepper spray. We are all ok, and we want to encourage folks, both police and protestors, to stay calm. pic.twitter.com/RDQ1p4YDRY
— Shannon Hardin (@SG_Hardin) May 30, 2020
“Protests expressing outrage are not only understandable, but they are also appropriate. We want Ohioans to exercise their First Amendment rights no matter what they’re protesting,” Gov. Mike DeWine said on Friday. “Ohioans should speak out against wrongdoing. Ohioans should speak out for change. They should speak out for unity for an end to injustice. In all aspects of our lives, we must not allow hate to prevail over love, kindness, and compassion.”
DeWine said he hears the voices of frustration, but he asked citizens that do protest to do it peacefully.
“We must not fight violence with more violence,” he said.
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Zachery Schmidt is the digital editor of Star News Digital Media. If you have any tips, email Zachery at [email protected] Follow Zachery on Twitter @zacheryschmidt2.
Photo “Joyce Beatty Protesting” by NBC4 Columbus.