An unarmed White teen was shot and killed by a police officer in a courthouse in Columbus, Ohio.
Sixteen-year-old Joseph Haynes was a defendant in an aggravated menacing case in juvenile court on Wednesday afternoon. The teen, who was on probation at the time, allegedly pointed a gun at two people in November 2017. His grandmother Geraldine Haynes claims the altercation between her late grandson and the Franklin County sheriff’s office deputy began because he was defending his mother.
“We was leaving and the cop told [his mother] Karen to get out the courthouse and wouldn’t let her get her stuff or nothing,” the grandmother told The Columbus Dispatch. “And [the cop] started pushing Karen up against the wall and Joey told him to leave his mom alone and he wouldn’t leave his mom alone.”
“Joey went over, grabbed him by his shoulders and the guy slung him around and slung Joey to the ground,” she continued. “And then he got on top of Joey … and then Joey’s hands were up in the air like that and the cop with his hand down by his side and the gun went off.”
She said the officer then reached for his firearm and shot her grandson while he was on the ground. Haynes was struck in his abdomen. He was transported to OhioHealth Grant Medical Center where he died within an hour. According to the Times Reporter, the officer had a black eye, bruises, and abrasion as a result of the confrontation.
Jennifer Brisco, who acted as Haynes’ attorney during the trial said the fight broke out between her client because the cop tried to arrest him. She claims Haynes was emotional at the time.
“Joseph was a little out of sorts because of how things went at the hearing,” Brisco told The Dispatch. “The officer threatened to lock him up and a scuffle broke out. Joseph was resisting, and that’s when there was a scuffle.”
The outlet reports the officer was knocked to the ground.
Executive vice president of Fraternal Order of Police Capital City Lodge No. 9 Keith Ferrell said in a Thursday news conference that the officer endured the “fight of his life” during his scuffle with Haynes. But the injuries he sustained were not life-threatening.
“We’re responsive to people’s actions,” Ferrell told The Dispatch. “We don’t choose to come to work and shoot people. It gives our people very little choice to protect themselves and the public. Unfortunately, he had to stop the threat. It was a significant struggle. And his injuries support that.”
The Ohio Bureau of Investigation is looking into the shooting although it remains unclear whether the officer’s job will be compromised as a result of the incident.