Columbus, Ohio - Video has been spreading around social media which claims to show a police officer brutally dumping a disabled person out of their wheelchair. However, full video shows that the claims were the result of poor acting by a person who was obstructing medics.
The incident started July 7th during a protester sit-in outsite of Sen. Ron Portman's office in Columbus. An activist group was protesting proposed changes to the health care laws.
During the sit-in, medics got a call from a person experiencing chest pains, according to CNN. In order to reach the patient, the medics needed access to the elevator, which was being blocked by the protesters.
Medics and Columbus police asked the protesters to allow the medics through, and the protest group refused, claiming that it was a police ruse. The irony of the protest group blocking someone's access to medical care was apparently lost on them.
The officers had to clear the way, so they began dragging the protesters away from the elevator while the protesters chanted, "rather go to jail than die without Medicaid."
While one officer was moving the wheelchair of an apparently disabled who was blocking the way, the person suddenly belly-flopped onto the floor, even though the officer did not tilt the wheelchair. That person was later seen walking around.
During the incident, Columbus PD tweeted out:
"PROTESTERS BLOCK MEDICS FROM EMERGENCY: @ColsFiretrying to get in 37. W Broad 4 person w/chest pains. Protesters block medics from entering"
That tweet was followed by:
"UPDATE 7/7 4:45PM 15 protestors are being arrested. They are complying. Charges include criminal trespassing. #CPD"
Once officers were able to clear the way, the medics searched for the person with chest pains, and nobody could locate them. People on the 37th floor were questioned, and nobody was aware of any person with chest pains in the area.
Theories vary on whether the protesters or anti-protesters called for medics to force a confrontation with police.
A spokesman from Rob Portman's office said, "Rob welcomes input from all 11.5 million Ohioans who are able to visit or call any of our offices to discuss any topic," the spokesman said. "Yesterday, we met with protesters from the Democratic Socialists of America, and after they refused to leave even when the buildings closed, we allowed them to stay the night."
"We aren't going to allow a handful of socialists, many of whom are from New York, to disrupt our ability to serve the needs of the Ohio constituents who contact us in need of vital services every day."
You can see the video of the incident and alleged brutality below. WARNING - Language: