U.S. Rep. Joyce Beatty, who was hit by pepper spray Saturday as scuffles broke out near the end of a demonstration in Columbus, Ohio, said police escalated matters by using heavy-handed tactics against “passionate” young demonstrators who were mostly orderly.
“Too much force is not the answer to this,” said Beatty, who pressed for peaceful tactics on both sides in a video posted on Twitter by Columbus City Council president Shannon Hardin, who also was pepper-sprayed. Both are African American.
In Salt Lake City, a police officer shoved and knocked over an older man who was walking with a cane on a sidewalk near a protest. Another officer stepped in within seconds to assist the man, as did the officer who knocked him down. Police Chief Mike Brown issued a video Sunday saying he’d personally apologized to the man.
“It was hard for me to watch what happened, and I know it was even harder for him to experience it,” Brown said.