70-year-old Joyce Beatty had never been pepper-sprayed before!

…The pepper spray was new to her. It “shuts you down,” she told me in an interview this morning. “It gets into your lungs. You’re coughing profusely. You can’t see.”


Kyle Robertson/Columbus Dispatch

It happened yesterday afternoon, when Beatty joined a group of demonstrators in downtown Columbus protesting police violence following the killing of George Floyd, a black man who died Monday after a Minneapolis police officer knelt on his neck for almost nine minutes. In videos of the protest now circulating on Twitter, Beatty, with her gray hair, red mask, and hot-pink sweatshirt tied around her small waist, is easy to spot…

In that moment, Beatty told me, she wasn’t a member of Congress. She was just another black American attacked while protesting injustice—one of innumerable others across the long expanse of history. The events of the past week, she said, represent “a collection of historic anger.”

Truly readable interview. If we had more like her in Congress instead of the “same as it ever was”-crowd, we’d be getting more done on behalf of the overwhelming majority of working folks and families in this country…

5 thoughts on “70-year-old Joyce Beatty had never been pepper-sprayed before!

  1. 4therecord says:

    “…I’m not sure what happened, but there was an altercation of some kind verbally, and the next thing we knew [a man] was grabbed and tossed over the bicycles into the street. A police officer pushed and hit a woman with his bicycle—she was next to me, and she was a young sister. My instincts kicked in; I remember saying, “This is wrong, stop, stop!” And my arms went up in the air to grab her, and at that point, pepper spray immediately came.
    Could it have been handled differently? I believe so. I think it was unnecessary force. It was not directly at me, but here’s what I [do] know: Pepper spray is not really directional. If you look at one of the photos, clearly there is an officer within six or seven inches of a young girl sitting on the ground, at the curb, being pepper-sprayed, and me and a couple other elected officials are right next to her. So it hit all of us, but it was not a point-and-direct spray at me.”
    Joyce Birdsong Beatty, United States Representative for Ohio’s 3rd congressional district since 2013.

  2. Copper says:

    “As several cities across the United States become hotspots of unrest following the violent death of black man George Floyd at the hands of a white police officer, Amnesty International recalled Sunday that U.S. police trains in Israel alongside military officers, who “have racked up documented human rights violations for years.”
    The rights group reported that hundreds of law enforcement officials from Baltimore, Florida, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, California, Arizona, Connecticut, New York, Massachusetts, North Carolina, Georgia, Washington state as well as the DC Capitol police all travel to Israel for training, while thousands of others received training from Israeli officials in the U.S.” https://www.telesurenglish.net/news/Human-Rights-Abuser-Israel-Trains-US-Police-Report-20200531-0005.html
    Amnesty International: https://www.amnestyusa.org/with-whom-are-many-u-s-police-departments-training-with-a-chronic-human-rights-violator-israel/

  3. Freedom Isn't Free says:

    “Tear Gas is Way More Dangerous Than Police Let On — Especially During the Coronavirus Pandemic” (ProPublica 6/4/20) https://www.propublica.org/article/tear-gas-is-way-more-dangerous-than-police-let-on-especially-during-the-coronavirus-pandemic
    “In the middle of a respiratory pandemic, law enforcement agencies have used tear gas in especially dangerous ways. The chemical agent also seeps into homes, contaminates food, furniture, skin and surfaces, and can cause long-term lung damage.”
    USA TODAY (6/3/20): “People who attend protests in the wake of George Floyd’s death should know how to protect themselves from tear gas and pepper spray.” https://www.usatoday.com/in-depth/news/nation/2020/06/02/george-floyd-protests-everything-know-tear-gas-pepper-spray/5307500002/
    “City of Columbus looking into OSU grad’s death after she was reportedly sprayed with tear gas at a protest” https://www.nbc4i.com/news/local-news/city-of-columbus-looking-into-osu-grads-death-after-she-was-reportedly-sprayed-with-tear-gas-at-a-protest/ “…The Montgomery County coroner confirmed they are conducting an autopsy on Grossman. They confirm she died on May 30, 2020 at Sycamore Hospital. The results from the autopsy are expected to take approximately eight weeks.”

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