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Ohio State issues alert after police respond to reports of large crowds, damage near campus

Ohio State student reporters say they were pepper-sprayed while covering police clearing the street of protesters near High Street and Lane Avenue.
Police respond to High Street near the Ohio State University campus on the night of June 1, 2020. (WBNS-10TV)

COLUMBUS, Ohio - Ohio State issued an alert Monday around 10:20 p.m. asking people to avoid the area of High Street and Lane Avenue because of police activity and reports of damage.

The Ohio State student-run newspaper, The Lantern, reported around the same time that police were clearing the intersection. Video from the newspaper shows a large number of protesters in the street.

Shortly after, the newspaper said its reporters were sprayed by officers trying to clear the area after the reporters identified themselves as news media.

According to a release from the City of Columbus, members of the news media are exempt from the 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. curfew along with law enforcement, fire and medical personnel, people traveling directly to and from work, people seeking care, fleeing dangerous circumstances or experiencing homelessness.

Sarah Szilagy, a reporter for the Lantern, says she is OK after being sprayed in the face.

Columbus police said officers issued multiple warnings to everyone gathered in that area to clear the scene due to public safety. They added that members of the media are exempt from the city's curfew but that anyone who is asked to clear an active crime scene is expected to comply.