Congresswoman Pepper-Sprayed at Protest

Joyce Beatty sprayed by police in Columbus, Ohio
By Polly Davis Doig,  Newser Staff
Posted May 31, 2020 6:05 AM CDT
Black Congresswoman Pepper-Sprayed at Protest
In this Nov. 6, 2018, file photo, Rep. Joyce Beatty, D-Ohio, speaks to the audience during the Ohio Democratic Party election night watch party in Columbus.   (AP Photo/John Minchillo, File)

(Newser) – Rep. Joyce Beatty, a grandmother and an African-American Democrat from Ohio, got pepper-sprayed during protests of the death of George Floyd on Saturday in Columbus, reports CNN. "I was there because I wanted the young protesters to know that in solidarity, that I stand with them," Beatty said. "I'm a black woman first and I felt the pain." A rep for Beatty said she was attempting to mediate "as a voice of reason" between protesters and police. The incident, per the rep:

"One young black female took a step off (the curb) and the cop kind of took that, I guess, 'sideways.' Instantly, a white man kind of came to her defense and then was instantly body-slammed to the ground. The congresswoman runs out into the street to hold back the cop and the protesters. Another cop comes up with his bike and pushes the congresswoman out of the way ... and then it's naturally getting heated ... that one cop pulls, I don't know why he does it, he pulls out his Mace and does what he does." The Columbus PC had no comment. Beatty called for protesters to "continue to protest, but it must be peaceful and that does not mean we aren't standing up for justice." (Read more Joyce Beatty stories.)

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