Columbus, OH — A haunting video was uploaded to Facebook this week showing a Columbus cop allegedly dump a woman out of her wheelchair, then turn around and walk away.
The incident reportedly happened at the Huntington Bank building at Senator Rob Portman’s office during a health care protest.
According to FOX 28,
National ADAPT, an activist group on behalf of the disabled, was inside the lobby of the Senator’s office with the hopes of arranging a forum to discuss the potential issues that will arise for those on Medicaid, specifically the cuts to it and caps on coverage, under the proposed health care plan. The goal was for the senator to give them a firm “no” that he wouldn’t support the health care repeal. Some of Portman’s staff members said they took notes of the complaints, but it ultimately wasn’t enough for those who wanted to speak directly to the Senator.
Portman has said he doesn’t plan on supporting the legislation, citing concerns about what it would do to Medicaid. Many fear that he could change his vote to a yes.
The protests began on Thursday and continued over to Friday morning after several of them staged a sit-in at Senator Portman’s office at Huntington Plaza in downtown Columbus office. Some of them even slept in the Portman’s waiting room overnight.
Approximately 15 people were arrested during the protests while many others were physically removed.
Several videos were posted to Facebook of police forcefully removing protesters from the office — many of whom were in wheelchairs. However, the video of the officer dumping the woman on the ground is by far the most disturbing.
Below is one video showing multiple people — including those with disabilities — being brutalized by officers with the Columbus Police Dispatch.
As the brief video below begins, the officer appears to dump the woman from the chair. Once the officer realized they’d just been caught in the act, the officer appears to turn around and walk away.
Although the video is brief, none of the multiple cops standing around the woman immediately try to help her.
Luckily, we were told, the woman survived the fall and is okay.
It is also important to point out that it may not have been intentional, but the response of turning around and walking away certainly was. One Facebook user pointed out that she is in a wheelchair and people almost tip her over all the time.
I use a wheelchair at times and people who don’t have experience have almost thrown me out at times. The officer in front blocks us from seeing exactly what happened. But accident or on purpose that officer and all the others should have rushed in to help once she was knocked to the floor. We are dangerously close to being a police state.
Regardless of your views on the health care debate, which TFTP has shown is a dog and pony show at best, no one should be treated like this, especially those with disabilities.
Sadly, this type of treatment of those with disabilities is not uncommon. Just last month, TFTP reported a similar protest in Washington D.C. at which multiple disabled people were assaulted and forcefully removed from the Capital building while peacefully protesting.
That protest took place outside the office of Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, who proposed the health care bill to which the group is opposed. According to Capitol police, they arrested 43 people for their roles in the protests.
Huge protest inside and outside of Senate Majority Leader Mitch Mcconnell's office happening right now. pic.twitter.com/Iu9wet6cXx
— Mariam Khan (@MKhan47) June 22, 2017
The D.C. protest was also organized by ADAPT, a disability rights organization, whose protest targeted the bill’s cuts to Medicaid for low-income Americans.
Tense situation outside McConnell's Russell office as protesters gather. Capitol Police blocking off hallway pic.twitter.com/48H3KUipfK
— Andrew Desiderio (@AndrewDesiderio) June 22, 2017
The freedom of speech is not reserved for some quiet protest in a cordoned off safe zone far away from politicians. It was, in fact, designed so that people could fill the halls of government buildings, just like this, and voice their grievances directly toward those who ostensibly represent them. Sadly, however, that notion is now dead in this country.