Columbus Officer Given Lowest Form Of Discipline For Violating Policy During Protests

COLUMBUS, Ohio (WSYX/WTTE) — Newly released records by Columbus police show a bike officer will get a letter in his personnel file after a deputy chief agreed, in part, with what a law firm determined after a more than half million-dollar independent investigation.

A deputy chief agreed in part with one of BakerHostetler’s sustained cases of misconduct and gave Officer Phillip Walls what’s called Documented Constructive Counseling.

Officer Walls didn’t report his use of force on a woman during protests near the Ohio Statehouse on the morning of May 30.

It happened after another officer was making an arrest.

Video released in a separate records request shows officer Walls pepper spraying the woman and knocking her to the ground. It was the only sustained case determined by the law firm hired by the city to investigate allegations of officer misconduct during the May and June protests.

When BakerHostetler asked officer Walls during a recorded interview about pepper spraying and shoving the woman, the officer said he didn’t remember it.

He said all he recalled was the crowd trying to get onto High Street and keeping them off the arrest team.

Police records released Monday show a deputy chief exonerated officer Walls for the use of pepper spray but sustained his failure to report.

The paper showing the documented constructive counseling goes into his personnel file.

Records released today by Columbus police show three additional sustained cases found by BakerHostetler.

According to the records, one officer is accused of failing to de-escalate a situation by enticing a confrontation with protesters, hitting someone on the head with a closed hand and using pepper spray back in June.

Another officer is accused of failing to report his use of force that first weekend in May.

BakerHostetler also sustained a case against an officer for use of force. He was accused of dragging a woman off a sidewalk and into the street. The officer’s report states he was working riot control and the woman refused his commands and was spitting on him.

Police say BakerHostetler has five remaining cases they’re working on.

A retired FBI agent is reviewing 21 cases involving officers that could be considered criminal. As of late last month, no conclusions have been made.


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