Allegations that Ohio police used excessive force when they fatally shot a 23-year-old Black man in 2016 during an undercover operation were rejected by a federal jury, according to the Associated Press.
The city of Columbus claims that Henry Green ignored the command from officers Zachary Rosen and Jason Bare to drop his gun. He then shot at the undercover officers and in response, the officer returned fire which led to Green’s death.
Green’s family claims Henry only shot at officers because they shot at him first, according to the Associated Press.
Officers Rosen and Bare will also not be indicted after an internal investigation from the Columbus Police Department cleared them.
In the past couple of years, there have been multiple high-profile cases over the killing and treatment of Black people by Columbus police officers.
In December, the city of Columbus agreed to pay $5.75 million to protesters injured by Columbus police during the George Floyd protests of 2020.
In March, the Columbus police officer who fatally shot 16-year-old Ma’Khia Bryant was cleared from criminal charges because they found the officers’ use of deadly force justified because Bryant was armed with a knife.
The murder trial for the Columbus officer who killed 47-year-old Black man Andre Hill in December 2020 is set to go to court this November.
From the Associated Press:
A federal judge dismissed the excessive force lawsuit brought by Green’s family in September 2019, finding it was reasonable to use deadly force under the circumstances. But a federal appeals court reinstated it a year later, determining that a jury could “reasonably conclude” there wasn’t justification for the officers to use force in this context.
The first trial ended in a mistrial in November 2021. On Monday, a unanimous jury sided with the city after a short deliberation, acquitting Rosen and Bare of excessive force and assault and battery allegations.
On Tuesday, City Attorney Zachary Klein said his office respects the decision, while noting, “The City Attorney’s Office takes seriously all use of force cases, especially those that result in a tragic loss of life.”
The attorney of Green’s family said according to the Associated Press, “This civil trial was the first that the city has had to defend for a police shooting in 15 years and that in itself provides hope and optimism that accountability is on the horizon. However, the people of this city should not have to fight their own leaders who continue to use qualified immunity as a sword to defend bad officers.”