Columbus Police Knock Double Amputee to Ground, Leave Him To Crawl For Help

Video from Columbus, Ohio on Sunday shows dozens of police officers dispersing a crowd with pepper spray, including a man who is a double amputee.

Columbus protesters can be seen screaming for medical help in several videos posted to Reddit and other social media outlets and a double amputee was left without his prosthetic legs in the aftermath. Local TV news outlets and amateur videographers depict the initial standoff between Columbus Police Department officers and protesters, as officers formed a phalanx-like position and used their bikes to shove the demonstrators backward.

The double amputee can be seen howling in pain on the ground as other protesters demand his legs back from the officers and repeatedly screaming, "Medic!"

Update: The Columbus Police Department responded late Monday night to the incident, saying the protester with prosthetic legs had just moments earlier thrown large plywood signs at officers. Sgt. James Fuqua defended the response of his officers to The Columbus Dispatch: "It blew up into this thing with little or no context. We're just getting annihilated publicly because they really think what they saw actually happened."

Fuqua told the Dispatch that officers on the scene were not aware the man had prosthetic legs because of his ability to launch projectiles at the police, which he said preceded the recorded incident above.

Columbus Police declined to respond to Newsweek's request for remarks on the incident.

Several police officers can be seen wielding pepper spray cannisters in both hands despite city officials saying last week that the agent would be banned from law enforcement use. At the time, Columbus Mayor Andrew Ginther said the city would ban chemical agents such as pepper spray to "immediately stop the use of tear gas and pepper spray to disperse non-aggressive, non-violent crowds."

"We have been clear about respecting and protecting peaceful protest. We also must keep city streets open to the public to travel and protect residents from lawlessness including the drag racing, fires and injuries in recent nights," the mayor said.

In the events which led up to the man left stranded on the ground, police formed a tight line on bicycles and drove the protesters out of the intersection. Several videos show the man's prosthetic legs and feet laying next to him on the ground, but demonstrators who recorded the incident said on Reddit and Twitter that police removed them from the scene.

A Columbus College of Art & Design professor wrote on Twitter that she witnessed police officers confiscating the man's prosthetic legs. This could not be independently confirmed by Newsweek. "Today in Columbus my husband was downtown at the protests & saw the cops hit & mace an unarmed kid and then STEAL HIS PROSTHETIC LEGS," tweeted Laurenn McCubbin on Sunday.

One angle of the incident shows the man crawling on his hands toward the curb of the street before several other protesters offer assistance.

The mayor continued defending the actions of Columbus police Sunday evening - although he did not directly address the incident involving the double amputee. Protests picked back up in the Ohio college town, home to Ohio State University, on Friday as part of Juneteenth commemorations. Crowds amassed on High Street between Broad and State streets for a block party which later turned into more organized demonstrations.

double amputee columbus police legs
Video from Columbus, Ohio on Sunday shows dozens of police officers aggressively dispersing a crowd with pepper spray, including a man who is a double amputee. Screenshot: Columbus protest
Columbus Police Knock Double Amputee to Ground, Leave Him To Crawl For Help | News