"If the police ask you to leave, you're blocking the path for fire and medic, if we have to push you out of your wheelchair, then that's what we'll have to do."
In President Donald Trump’s America, millions of people who would have nowhere to go after the Republicans repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act.
As if cutting down on health insurance wasn’t enough, it seems like police officers will now take the lead to harm protesters fighting for their rights – even if the protesters were disabled.
A viral video shows how officers in Columbus, Ohio treated a disabled woman. After ordering the protesters to leave, the cops retorted to physically throw people out of the building.
Alisa Grishman from Pittsburgh was casually pushed out of her chair right on to the floor by an officer from the Columbus Police Department. The 35-year-old suffers from multiple sclerosis among other ailments.
Another video shows the police officers lifting a woman from her chair before placing her in the van.
Some 30 protesters from a progressive group’s alliance and from the Ohio Chapter Of The National Disability Rights Group (ADAPT,) were holding demonstration against the GOP-backed health care bill and cuts to Medicaid outside Ohio Sen. Rob Portman's office in Columbus.
The group of demonstrators asked Portman to vote against the Senate’s new health care bill, wanting to discuss the issues that will arise after the cuts in Medicaid. Portman previously said he doesn't plan on supporting the legislation, but will also not commit to blocking future bills that could.
Many feared he could change his decision.
Portman’s security reportedly permitted protesters for the demonstrations on the condition of staying peaceful. But when they reached the office, the elevators to reach Portman’s office were turned off.
Protesters claim this was done on purpose to stop them from reaching the senator’s office to speak with his staff.
"We were clear they were playing us," said ADAPT's Bruce Darling. "When we arrived we held three of their four elevators in the lobby. We basically agreed in the beginning, the police made an agreement with us; they wouldn't do anything as long as we left them one elevator. When they came in with the gurney they said they had an emergency. There was a bit of chaos, and it was highly suspect, but we gave them the freight elevator."
When the demonstrators finally went up, they were ordered to leave the building for apparent trespassing. They allegedly blocked medics from responding to a call in the building.
According to the Columbus Police, the protesters were blocking emergency crews trying to reach the person allegedly suffering from chest pains.
"If the police ask you to leave, you're blocking the path for fire and medic, if we have to push you out of your wheelchair, then that's what we'll have to do," Lt. Dan Hargus said at a press conference.
At least 16 people were reportedly arrested for charges including criminal trespassing.
Later, the Columbus Fire Department confirmed they were unable to find a patient to treat in the building.