A video of a black man being detained outside Campbell Hall by University Police without an apparent explanation started to gain traction on Twitter Monday afternoon. Ohio State, however, has said the detention was justified because the man was reportedly ready to harm himself with a weapon.
“Regarding today’s incident, (University Police) were responding to an urgent report of a person who may harm himself and may have had a weapon,” the department said in a tweet. “Officers took action deemed necessary to protect the safety of all. He was not arrested: taken to hospital for well-being check.”
It is not clear if he is a student.
In a video posted on Twitter just before noon — which by about 3 p.m. had gained more than 600 retweets — the man can be seen asking if and why he is being arrested, seemingly without a clear response from the police officers. Further in the video, after being taken to the ground by officers, he proclaims, “I don’t even own a gun.”
Bystanders in the video are heard asking why the man was being arrested, to no avail. In the video, an officer directs students to reach out to the police station for answers, to their apparent frustration.
University Police Chief Craig Stone later issued a statement saying no injuries were reported, and that officers had taken “action deemed necessary.”
“Based on their observations at the scene, (the officers) took action deemed necessary to protect the safety of all. The individual was not arrested and no injuries have been reported,” Stone said. “He was transported to the hospital for a well-being check, which is standard protocol when police believe an individual may harm themselves.”
He added that the police are reviewing the incident. Some students had taken to Twitter expressing dissatisfaction with the way the detention was made.
“Ohio State Police will thoroughly review this incident, as we do all such cases,” he said.
Update, 4:03 p.m.: This story was updated with Craig Stone’s statement.