COLUMBUS (WCMH) — Columbus Division of Police Chief Kim Jacobs posted a video Tuesday addressing the arrests last week at Senator Portman’s Columbus office.
Chief Jacobs said the incident started when the protesters delayed medics from the Columbus Division of Fire who were responding to a report of a medical emergency.
“Upon arrival, the EMS personnel were met by protesters, some of whom were in wheelchairs, who refused to let the medics use the front entrance and made them go to a different door,” Jacobs said. “Once inside the building, EMS personnel found protesters blocking three of the four elevators on the first floor.”
After finally getting to the 11th floor, they were unable to find anyone in need of help.
Sixteen people from New York and Pennsylvania were arrested and charged with criminal trespassing and misconduct at an emergency.
The protesters were asking Senator Portman to vote no on the Senate’s new health care bill. They claim the bill would take away coverage from those who have the most need.
The demonstration was organized by disability rights groups ADAPT.
The handling of the situation is now being investigated by CPD’s Internal Affairs Bureau.
Chief Jacobs asks anyone with video of the incident to send it to IABDeskSgt@columbuspolice.org.