Rep. Joyce Beatty, Columbus City Council President Hardin pepper-sprayed during protest

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Courtesy: WCMH

COLUMBUS (WCMH) – Columbus City Council President Shannon Hardin says he, Franklin County Commissioner Kevin Boyce and Congresswoman Joyce Beatty were sprayed with mace or pepper spray during a protest in downtown Columbus Saturday morning.

Council President Hardin tweeted a video with Rep. Beatty saying that they are okay, and called on people on both sides of the protest to remain calm.

A spokesperson for Rep. Beatty told NBC4 that while the protest was underway, someone started scuffling with police. Police took that person down, which made other protesters angry. Beatty stepped in to try and calm the situation when police started spraying. Hardin and Boyce pulled Beatty out of the fray.

“We understand that tensions are high. Our tensions are high as well. We are angry, and we need change. But the only way we will get change is by peaceful demonstrations,” said Hardin.

“While it was peaceful, there were times where people got off the curb, into the street, said Beatty. “Too much force is not the answer this.”

Beatty said she came out to support those protesting injustice.

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