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Ohio officer kills unarmed Black man while body camera wasn't on

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation agents work at the scene of the shooting on Tuesday, December 22, 2020. (Photo via The Columbus Dispatch)

A Columbus, Ohio, police officer has shot and killed a Black man with his body camera being off at the time of the shooting.

The incident happened on Tuesday morning after police responded to a non-emergency call shortly after 1:37 a.m.

Mayor Andrew Ginther said he was "greatly" disturbed that the body camera was not on, adding he would not tolerate officers who fail to turn their cameras on.

"If you're not going to turn on your body-worn camera, you cannot serve and protect the people of Columbus," Ginther said.

He went on to say that "a function of the technology (body cameras) provides a 60-second look back" but does not record audio.

When the officers arrived at the home on, there was a man inside a garage whose door was open, according to city officials.

The 60-second body camera look back shows the man walking toward the officer holding a cell phone in his left hand, but his right hand was not visible.

One officer fired his weapon, officials said, hitting the man, who died at the hospital just before 2:30 a.m.

According to the preliminary investigation, the man, 47, was visiting someone at the home. No weapon was recovered at the scene.

The officer has been suspended pending an investigation, Ginther said.

Columbus City Council said in a statement, "The compounding heartbreak of learning an unarmed Black man was killed last night by a Columbus police officer is beyond description.

"Thoughts and prayers cannot soothe this pain, and the members of Columbus City Council are beyond frustrated at this senseless death. Too many families in our community are mourning at a time when we should be seeking peace and hope."

The incident comes after another fatal shooting in Columbus on December 4, when Casey Goodson, a 23-year-old Black man with no criminal background, was shot dead by a Franklin County Sheriff's Office deputy.

Police-involved shootings and killings of black men in the hands of white police officers have led to mass protests across the country in recent years, giving birth to the Black Lives Matter movement.

Research has shown that African American men are 2.5 times more likely to be killed by law enforcement in the US.

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