Young black woman with bullhorn outside at rally

Jodi Ann
Photo by Tekla Lewin

Jodi Ann, one of the organizers of the rally for justice in the case of Shelton Adams, spoke to Channel 4 during a demonstration March 16 across the street from Grant Hospital, where Mr. Adams was pepper sprayed and wrestled to the ground by Ohio Health security guards on Monday. Jodi Ann told the TV news crew that she thought the actions by the security guard were unfounded and that video showed Adams was not doing anything wrong. Adams had been outside the Hospital smoking a cigarette when the guards approached him and without obvious rationale, started pushing him and spraying his face with pepper spray from a distance of five feet or more, the video showed. Adams ended up on the ground in very cold weather, pepper spray in his eyes, without getting any medical assistance -- again, right outside Grant Hospital.  

Dana White, a participant at the rally, recounted his own encounter with the same three security guards while waiting for a neighbor to receive treatment in the emergency room at Grant Hospital four months ago. The guards physically threw him out of the building for no apparent cause, causing injury to his back. 

One of the protestors at the event, Tyrone Thomas of the Police Officers for Equal Rights (POER), stated that there are many good cops but a few bad ones. Also, he said that when a private outfit like Ohio Health hires security police, it is the Fraternal Order of Police that determines who they hire. 

Somebody asked, what can we do?

Thomas reminded the crowd that there are currently three spots on City Council coming up for election and 12 candidates. He recommended calling them to ask what they think about the Shelton Adams case and about other recent cases of Columbus police abuse. Local attorney and activist Connie Gadell-Newton recommended training police in de-escalation techniques.

News reports Thursday evening, March 16, announced that Adams had been charged with disorderly conduct and released.