Ohio Statehouse Has Windows Smashed, American Flags Burned by Those Protesting George Floyd's Death

The Ohio Statehouse had multiple windows smashed and American flags burned Thursday by crowds of people protesting the death of George Floyd.

The Capitol Square Review and Advisory Board, which is responsible for maintaining the state capitol and the 10 acres surrounding it, stated in a press release Friday that, at that time, it could not assess the cost of the damage.

The protests in Columbus began peacefully Thursday night as demonstrators gathered to show support for George Floyd, who died Monday in Minneapolis after he was arrested by police responding to a call that he used a counterfeit $20 bill at a local supermarket. Police officer Derek Chauvin, who was charged with third-degree murder and manslaughter Friday, can be seen in videos of the incident with his knee on the back of Floyd's neck while he was already handcuffed and lying face down on the ground. A fire department report said that Floyd had no pulse before he was loaded into an ambulance and sent to Hennepin County Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead.

The protests turned violent in Columbus after demonstrators started throwing objects at police vehicles asking them to clear the streets. Staff Lieutenant Craig Cvetan, the public affairs commander Ohio State Highway Patrol, which guards the statehouse, told Newsweek in an email that some of the people who were dispersed by police made their way to the statehouse.

"Of those on the [statehouse] grounds, a few began to commit acts of vandalism, damaging some windows, light fixtures and doors.… One protester was able to gain access to the Statehouse through a broken window to an office; however, the protester fled back out the window before troopers could apprehend him from the interior. He was taken into custody by Columbus police when he exited the window," Cvetan stated.

Eric Halperin, a reporter for NBC4 News in Columbus, tweeted footage of the crowds inflicting damage the Columbus Statehouse: "Demonstrators have moved to the Statehouse grounds and have broken windows. Some have gone inside."

Cvetan told Newsweek that the State Highway patrol would be conducting an investigation to document the damage done by rioters. The Capitol Square Review and Advisory Board press release the damage that was done to the statehouse, including 28 windows that were shattered, damage to five pole lamps on the exterior, and fire damage to flags that were planted in the flower beds.

Mike Rupert, the communications manager for the statehouse, told Newsweek in an interview that while there were people present in the building at the time of the riots, to his knowledge no one on staff was injured.

"The Ohio Statehouse is a place for people to come and participate in the state government of Ohio, but we also want to preserve the Statehouse for all of the citizens of Ohio," Rupert said.

Protesters Break Into Ohio Statehouse In Columbus As Nationwide Backlash Erupts After George Floyd Killing
Protesters flock toward the Ohio Statehouse where windows were smashed out. Matthew Hatcher/Getty
Ohio Statehouse Has Windows Smashed, American Flags Burned by Those Protesting George Floyd's Death | U.S.