COLUMBUS – As a result of litigation brought by the ACLU of Ohio, the City of Columbus agreed to pay a settlement amount of $10,000 to Ellen Abdur-Rahim, a peaceful protester who was pepper sprayed in the face at point blank range by a then-Columbus Police officer during a political demonstration in 2017.
The ACLU of Ohio argued that the Columbus Police violated Ms. Abdur-Rahim’s constitutional rights when she was pepper-sprayed in the face while already hurt and leaving a peaceful demonstration. The settlement follows a multi-year litigation effort.
“There is no way to put a price on this kind of trauma. But we welcome the measure of accountability that this settlement represents and we are grateful to partner with our client in demanding that accountability. This behavior from the Columbus Police is wrong and it has always been wrong,” said Elizabeth Bonham, Staff Attorney for the ACLU of Ohio.
Recently the ACLU of Ohio joined a coalition of legal and advocacy organizations in formally requesting the U.S. Department of Justice to investigate the Columbus Police Department’s history of violence and misconduct targeting Black people.
The case was originally filed in July 2017.
A copy of the settlement agreement and joint notice of settlement and proposed order are below.