COLUMBUS, Ohio — Newly released documents and body camera footage are providing a fuller picture of what led to three Columbus officers facing charges after downtown protests last year.
The misdemeanor charges stem from an investigation by retired FBI agent Rick Wozniak and special prosecutor Kathleen Garber. Wozniak and Garber were hired by the city to investigate potential crimes by any officers during protests in the summer of 2020 following the death of George Floyd.
Columbus Division of Police's Officer Traci Shaw, Sergeant Holly Kanode and Officer Phillip Walls all face charges for alleged misconduct. 10TV received personnel and Internal Affairs Bureau files for each officer.
Officer Traci Shaw
Officer Traci Shaw has been charged with three counts of Assault, three counts of Dereliction of Duty and three counts of Interfering with Civil Rights. Shaw’s charges are related to an event that occurred on May 30, 2020.
According to court documents, Shaw was captured on video exiting her marked cruiser near the intersection of High and Goodale streets, walking up to people on the sidewalk and pepper-spraying three people. All three told authorities Shaw never spoke or said anything to them.
Internal Affairs Bureau reports show 29 entries where Shaw was investigated for using mace. All were found to be "within policy" of the department.
Sergeant Holly Kanode
Sergeant Holly Kanode has been charged with one count of Falsification and one count of Dereliction of Duty. Kanode’s charges are related to an event that occurred on May 30, 2020.
Video shows the arrest of Nadia Lynch near the intersection of Broad and High streets. Kanode was heard on body camera footage saying Lynch grabbed ahold of an officer and jerked them to the ground. This information was then used in an arrest report. According to Wozniak, a review of Kanode’s camera and another video submitted to the city did not show Lynch grabbing or throwing any officer to the ground.
Internal Affairs Bureau records show once Kanode was investigated for use of mace but was found to have acted "within" Columbus police policy.
Officer Phillip Walls
Officer Phillip Walls has been charged with two counts of Assault, two counts of Dereliction of Duty and two counts of Interfering with Civil Rights. Walls’ charges are related to an event that occurred on May 29, 2020.
According to court documents, Walls was captured on his body camera pepper-spraying peaceful protesters at the corner of Broad and High streets.
Walls' has had 130 internal affairs inquiries into the use of mace since 2001. In almost every case, he was found to have acted within departmental policy. A 2015 incident was found to be "outside of policy." Four citizen complaints about how the officer used mace were "unfounded."
Defense attorney Mark Collins told 10TV he will represent all three officers. The officers are scheduled to be arraigned on July 8.
In a statement, Columbus police said all three officers have been relieved of their regular assignments and will be assigned to administrative duties.