Ohio police officer on leave after driving over Black shooting victim who later died

·2 min read
Police chief Lee Graf addressing a press conference in Ohio on Wednesday, 16 June 2021. He was responding to the reports of a police officer running over a gun-wound victim (Screengrab/NBC News)
Police chief Lee Graf addressing a press conference in Ohio on Wednesday, 16 June 2021. He was responding to the reports of a police officer running over a gun-wound victim (Screengrab/NBC News)

A police officer in Ohio has been placed on leave after her dashcam video showed her patrol car driving over a shooting victim lying on a street, authorities said. The man died soon after.

The incident occurred on the night of 13 June, when Springfield police officer Amanda Rosales was responding to a 911 call about a shooting on West Liberty Avenue.

According to the video from inside of the cruise, Ms Rosales was driving the car when she struck an already bleeding Eric Cole, reported NBC News.

Cole, a Black man, was flown to a hospital but was pronounced dead shortly afterwards, police chief Lee Graf said at a news conference on Wednesday. The cause of death, however, is unclear at the moment and Montgomery County Coroner’s Office is working to determine it.

Even though police have called it an “accident”, Cole’s family has asked why they were not immediately informed about Ms Rosales’s vehicle running him over.

“The lead officer was trying to catch addresses on the house. Eric was lying in the street,” police chief Lee Graf said during a tense media briefing attended by Cole’s relatives. “This was an accident. It doesn’t mean it’s OK. It was an accident. This was not an intentional act on the part of the officer. I am sure of that.”

The dashcam video released to several media outlets shows Cole lying in a street in a white shirt and blue shorts. His shirt was covered in blood when the police car arriving at the scene struck him.

Ohio State Highway Patrol is investigating “the vehicle-pedestrian accident” while Springfield Police Division is probing the shooting incident, reported the USA Today.

Ms Rosales has been placed on administrative leave.

Cole’s mother, Regina Wilson, however, was unconvinced by the explanation offered by the police, and asked why were they not told “that [Rosales] ran over my son.”

“I want the officer held accountable just like if they get the suspect, they will hold him accountable,” Ms Wilson was quoted as saying by NBC affiliate WDTN.

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