Over a hundred gather in Springfield, call for justice for Eric Cole

More than 100 people gathered Wednesday afternoon in downtown Springfield, demanding justice and accountability after a local gunshot victim died after he was hit by a police cruiser that was responding to the shooting.

Eric Cole, 42, was shot by an unknown assailant the night of June 13 and was laying in the street, bleeding, in the 1400 block of South Center Boulevard when he was struck by the Springfield Police Division cruiser.

Cole was flown to Miami Valley Hospital, where he died from his injuries the following day.

Those who gathered outside of Springfield City Hall on Wednesday said they want the officer involved in the incident to be held accountable. They also called for more transparency surrounding the case.

The event was organized by Springfield native Dion Green. In addition to Cole’s family, several mothers whose sons were killed by police officers in the country were in attendance. That included Adrienne Hood, of Columbus, whose son Henry Green was shot and killed by Columbus police in 2016.

ExplorePHOTOS: Demonstration For Eric Cole

Dion Green said those present at the demonstration are in mourning over Cole’s death and that demonstrations will continue until charges are levied against the officer involved.

Green said that there has to be accountability because he along with the family believe that Cole’s death could have been prevented.

Those who participated in the demonstration marched from City Hall to the police station, where some laid in the street, before going to the Clark County Courthouse demanding answers.

City officials declined to comment regarding the demonstration. However, a spokesperson with the city stated that City Hall was closed from noon to 5 p.m., Wednesday as a safety precaution.

The official cause of Cole’s death has not been determined.

But, a preliminary autopsy report by the Montgomery County Coroner’s Office showed that Cole had blunt-force trauma to several body parts along with a gunshot wound.

The officer involved in the incident was identified as Amanda Rosales. She was placed on administrative leave, according to Springfield Police Chief Lee Graf.

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The Springfield Police Division is investigating Cole’s shooting and the Ohio State Highway Patrol is investigating the striking of Cole by the police cruiser.

“This was an accident. That doesn’t mean it’s okay. This was not an intentional act by the officer. I am sure of that,” Graf said at a press conference on June 16 .

Graf added that Rosales did not see Cole on the street and that the officer stopped immediately and began to render aid after the incident.

However, Cole’s family said that they want the officer involved in the incident to be punished for running over Cole. Those family members also questioned accounts that Rosales did not see Cole on the road.

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Organizers of the event said they want to make those in charge uncomfortable until they see change.

Speakers at the event also called for criminal charges to be levied against Rosales. It’s a sentiment shared by members of Cole’s family who feel that the police division has withheld information from them.

“At the end of the day if we don’t do it, nobody else is going to do it. It is our responsibility to continue to echo his name day in and day out,” activist Karla Carey said of Cole on Wednesday.

Carey, of Columbus, was one of several people who spoke to the crowd during the demonstration.

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