Columbus Police to Change Policy on Use of Chemical Agents


PHOTO CREDIT--ABC6

PHOTO CREDIT--ABC6

COLUMBUS, Ohio (WTVN)--In light of protests in Columbus over the death of George Floyd, and the use of pepper spray and tear gas on crowds, the city of Columbus has formed a new advisory committee to look at best practices for their use.

Columbus City Attorney Zach Klein says that means officers will no longer be advised to use chemical agents on non-aggressive, non-violent crowds.

Klein says based on the incidents downtown two weeks ago, their use is not justified when crowds fail to leave the street or to move.

Columbus Police Chief Thomas Quinlan said new tactics for how to disperse a peaceful crowd are being developed, but can't be revealed.

In one incident, elected officials were pepper-sprayed, including Columbus City Council President Shannon Hardin, Congresswoman Joyce Beatty, and Franklin County Commissioner Kevin Boyce.