Officer Dismissed After Rough Handling Of Teen Caught On Camera

 June 20, 2024

The repercussions of a distressing law enforcement interaction in Ohio have resonated widely.

According to Daily Mail, an Ohio police officer was terminated after a body-cam recording documented his aggressive treatment of a 14-year-old black teenager during a roadside encounter.

On an otherwise uneventful afternoon on February 19, Officer Donovan Bever, then a member of the Columbus Police Department, escalated a traffic stop into a physical altercation. Bever and his partner were addressing a group of teenagers gathered at a crosswalk. The situation quickly deteriorated, causing the youths to scatter, prompting a chase.

Both officers pursued; Bever's partner detained two of the fleeing youths, pulling his weapon and demanding they lie down. Bever arrived shortly after and confronted one of the teens already in custody. The body-cam footage captures Bever slamming the young boy's head against the sidewalk, engaging in actions deemed excessive by police oversight.

Details Reveal Harsh Tactics During Arrest

As the distressing scene continued, the teenager vocalized his pain, stating he had been struck in the face. Bever's response did little to ease the situation, as observed in him pulling items from the teen's pockets and tossing them at him, striking him in the face and groin.

Eyewitness footage later highlighted the officer's conduct, showing him dragging the teenager by his dreadlocks. As this physical ordeal unfolded, Bever posed a shocking question as to whether the boy had AIDS, a query that was both irrelevant and insensitive during the arrest.

Before we delve deeper into the community’s and officials’ reactions, Police Chief Elaine Bryant expressed her disquiet towards the recorded behavior: "I was angry, disappointed, upset. This is not what we reflect as the Columbus Division of Police. The majority of our officers have great relationships with our community."

Community And Official Responses Call For Justice

Public outcry was swift following the release of the footage. Public Safety Director Kate Pishotti decided to dismiss Bever from the force as of June 10, asserting that both the community and the young victim deserved better than what was depicted in the incident.

This is not Officer Bever's first encounter with disciplinary actions over conduct. His record includes prior complaints and reprimands, hinting at troubling patterns in his professional behavior.

The local community and the legal guardian of the teenager, his grandmother, described their mix of disappointment at the incident and relief at the police department's prompt action. The community's expectation for responsible policing stands clear in light of this event.

Reevaluating Police Engagement Practices

In the aftermath, the Columbus Division of Police, headed by Chief Bryant, began reassessing the strategies employed by officers when interacting with the public. Emphasizing non-violent alternatives, the goal is to rebuild trust and assure the community that first responders prioritize safety and respect above all.

As public servants dedicated to upholding community safety and trust, police officers must adhere strictly to the guidelines and training that underscore respectful, judicious engagement with citizens—ensuring that the failures of an individual do not tarnish the reputation of the many dedicated officers who serve faithfully every day.


The dismissal of Officer Donovan Bever serves as a crucial reminder of the standards expected of law enforcement. The Columbus community and its officials have taken steps to address this regrettable incident and prevent future occurrences. The community remains hopeful that this event will catalyze positive change in police-community interactions, fostering an environment where trust in the law remains unbroken.

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