Video Posted of Confrontation at Courthouse

Video Posted of Confrontation at Courthouse

  • 1/1/1900
  • WMFD Digital Team
  • Local News

A video of the confrontation between security and a photographer at the commissioner's office Thursday morning has surfaced, showing exactly what happened during the scuffle. Mike Skidmore, 58, was reportedly asked to leave the premises after taking photos of a clerk's nametag and touching her on the shoulder. Skidmore didn't make a move to leave, prompting security to be called into the office.

The video depicts the scene just as officers entered the office - Skidmore begins protesting against the security guards' presence, saying, "That security does not have a ID. That security does not have an ID, I don't know who they are." An unidentified voice, presumably sitting at the table, replies, "Well, I do know who they are. They're security staff." The first security guard crosses the room to usher Skidmore out, touching his camera in the process. Skidmore stands, attempting to yank the camera out of the guard's hands before throwing a punch. Several shrieks can be heard as Skidmore continues to land blows on the security guard. The second guard crosses the room to assist his partner.

The first guard falls over a chair and against a wall behind him before falling into the chair itself, at which point he draws his weapon. As the second guard reaches Skidmore, the first guard's gun goes off - which Richland County Sheriff Steve Sheldon says the officer intentionally shot - firing a round into the wall of the commissioner's office. Skidmore lands several more hits on the first guard before the second guard forces Skidmore to the ground. As he goes down, Skidmore can be heard shouting, "What are you doing, man? What're you doing? Call an SO! Call 911! I'm being attacked!" As the scuffle continued on the floor, the officer whose gun went off quietly puts away his firearm and adjusts his watch. No one was hit by the bullet - although people in the room were sent into a panic, diving under tables and running for cover.

According to witnesses, the commissioner's meeting covered government abuse. Skidmore is said to be "aggressive and forceful" among public officials and other members of the press in the way he asks questions. Skidmore was arrested on a felonius assault charge and arraigned Friday morning in Mansfield Municipal Court on an $100,000 bond. The two officers suffered bruises, scrapes, and bites and were treated at OhioHealth MedCentral Hospital.

The entire video has been posted on YouTube by Photography Is Not A Crime, an activist group dedicated to documenting and publishing police abuses. The video can been seen at https://www.youtube.com/watch?t=133&v=yZ-eJ8eNfd0 .  

 

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