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African-American congressional woman sprayed with pepper during the George Floyd protest in Columbus



“I was there because I wanted the young protesters to know that I stand in solidarity with them,” Beatty told the local NBC 4 affiliate. “You know, I’m a grandmother, I’m an elected official, but I’m a black woman first and I felt the pain,” she said.
Columbus City Council President Shannon Hardin said in a post on Twitter that he and the congresswoman “were sprayed with lace or pepper spray” and “we’re all ok.”

“We came out to support them and be with them,” Beatty said in a video on Hardin’s Twitter page. “There was just something in my heart that was thinking about George Floyd, thinking about all the injustices that I needed to be out and thought I was protecting them and it probably wasn̵

7;t safe,” Beatty said.

Dominic Manecke, a Beatty spokesman, told CNN that the incident happened when Beatty tried to mediate tensions between protesters against Floyd’s killing and Columbus police department officials.

“People are angry. Tensions are very high and she went down there as a voice of reason. She has a very good connection to society and tried to be a mediator … I mean the police knew who she was and thanked her”.

Manecke explained to CNN that Beatty, whose 3rd district encompasses a large swath of Columbus, tried to separate an officer and a protester when she got stuck in “melee” for both groups which resulted in her being shot.

“A young black woman took a step away (curb) and the police took the one I suppose ‘sideways.’ Immediately, a white man came to her defense and was immediately released with her body to the ground.The congresswoman runs out into the street to hold back the police and protesters.Another policeman comes with her bicycle and pushes the congresswoman off the road … and then it becomes Of course heated … that a cop pulls, I don’t know why he does it, he pulls out his Mace and does what he does, “Manecke said.

CNN could not reach the Columbus Police Department for comment.

In Twitter videoBeatty criticized the police response to the escalating tensions of protesters, saying “too much force is not the answer to this.”

Beatty went on to say that she is “so proud of all young people” before urging the protesters to remain calm.

“… We must continue to protest, but it must be peaceful and that does not mean that we do not stand for justice,” Beatty said.

Saturday marked the fourth day of escalating protests in several cities over Floyd’s death at the hands of a white police officer in Minneapolis, Minnesota.




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