In Ohio, The last statehouse protests ended in fistfights. Now officials worry for inauguration violence

By: - January 17, 2021 11:41 am

From our colleagues at the Ohio Capital Journal:

It was a peaceful protest outside the Ohio Statehouse. Then it was a crowd of Proud Boys wailing on Dejuan Sharp.

The brawl came a few hours later.

Sharp, a Black man, attended the Jan. 6 protest along with other Black Lives Matter activists when, by his account, a Proud Boy in a baseball helmet called him a “n—er.”

At that point, he crossed from the west side of High Street to the east, where the Proud Boys gathered.

Several recordings of events reviewed by the Ohio Capital Journal don’t clearly show who made the first move. Sharp said in an interview he was hit by a whip. Then he swung.

The Proud Boys, a right-wing extremist group clad in black and yellow with a reputation for starting fights with liberal activists, can then be seen in a chaotic fistfight with Sharp, knocking him to the ground. Multiple members threw punches while he was down.

An email from an account belonging to the “Proud Boys of Cleveland” disputed an earlier version of this article referring to the group as a ‘street gang,’ stating the Proud Boys are a “fraternal organization.”

Read the full story here.

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John L. Micek

A three-decade veteran of the news business, John L. Micek is the Pennsylvania Capital-Star's former Editor-in-Chief.