5 arrested, two police injured, businesses damaged in second day of Columbus protests

Damage in downtown Columbus after George Floyd protests
Damage in downtown Columbus after George Floyd protests

Credit: David Jablonski - Staff Writer

Credit: David Jablonski - Staff Writer

At least five people were arrested, two officers were injured, and several businesses were damaged or ransacked during a second day of protesting in Columbus.

Columbus police said in a tweet that it arrested people for setting off fireworks and inducing panic. The two officers were injured when people threw rocks and bricks at them.

Police also reported that windows were broken on businesses in the Short North Arts District.

The Columbus Dispatch reported that some buildings were spray-painted, and that on Gay Street near South Third Street, a half-dozen businesses had broken windows and some were ransacked. They reported that business owners had boarded up their buildings and a couple stood outside with guns to protect their properties.

After protests Thursday night which began peacefully but later became violent, protesters again gathered in Columbus, this time with crowds gathering in the area of the downtown Columbus Division of Police headquarters and an intersection on the east side of the city.

>>PREVIOUS REPORTING: George Floyd protests erupt in Columbus: What we know now

Video from the Columbus Dispatch and WBNS-TV posted to their Facebook pages showed protesters chanting and holding signs around the intersection of Lockbourne Road and East Livingston Avenue, at times moving into the intersection and blocking traffic.

The Dispatch reported that the crowd gathered at that location both to protest the death of George Floyd and the Wednesday arrest of Christopher Radden, who was charged with assaulting a police officer on that corner while protesting Floyd's death.

WBNS-TV reported that another group was demonstrating at the police headquarters in downtown Columbus.

A little after 9 p.m., on WBNS-TV’s video police at the downtown protest could be heard announcing an emergency had been declared in the area and ordering protesters to disperse.

One protester could be seen lighting off a firework, which exploded above the street.

>>After chaos in Columbus, organizers want 'peaceful' protest in Dayton

The violence at Thursday night’s protest caused damage to the Ohio Statehouse, as well as businesses, bus stops, trash cans and benches along High Street.

Protests were sparked by the Minneapolis death of George Floyd, an unarmed black man who died in police custody while restrained by a police officer who kept a knee on his neck.

>>George Floyd protesters set Minneapolis police station afire

After calling for peaceful protests on Twitter at the start of yesterday’s demonstrations, today Columbus Mayor Andrew Ginther again took to social media.

He wrote it had been a “hard 24 hours” and retweeted a post from a Columbus Dispatch writer who quoted minority leaders and said vandalism and violence were not the answer.

We are continuing to monitor the situation and will update this story with any new information.