New Year, Same Brutality

Ohio Families Unite stands with Devin Johnson and his family

New camera footage shows the use of force by Officer Matthew Blauvelt was excessive and unjust

 

COLUMBUS—On November 18th, 2023 in Oxford, Ohio, 20-year-old Devin Johnson, a student at Miami University, was arrested and charged with assault, resisting arrest, underage drinking and criminal trespassing. After the arrest the Oxford Police Department claimed it was investigating the use of force, while immediately affirming the use of force was certainly justified. This false narrative immediately planted by the Oxford police department could not be further from the truth.

In recently released videos from the patio, you see the true version of events. Not only is there a stark contrast from the aggressor the department has painted Devin Johnson as, but you also see there was no need for the use of force he received. While being held on the ground by multiple people, Oxford officer Matthew Blauvelt almost immediately began punching Devin as he was held down by other officers. 

Time and time again we see video after video of officers brutalizing community members and then claiming “resisting arrest” or “failure to comply” as if someone should just lay on the ground while you punch them repeatedly in the face and head. Not only does this call into question the training these officers are receiving, but also whether or not this is their first time covering up their mistakes during investigations, conducting their own internal investigations to draw their own conclusions

Said Karla Carey, board member of OFUAPB – “To begin, the statement by the FOP president, David Patterson is so common in these situations! Seldom are the officers held accountable in excessive force encounters. Moreover, officer Matthew Blauvet’s actions were aggressive, excessive and egregious in nature! But sadly because officer’s are held to a different standard, the only person who will be held accountable/punished is the victim, Devin Johnson. Why? Because JUSTICE seldom prevails in favor of the innocent!

In this society we are supposed to be innocent until proven guilty; however, as we see here, that is not always the case. As we see here, not only was Devin seen as guilty immediately, the officers then took it upon themselves to attempt to cover up the crime they themselves committed.

We here at OFUPAC and OFUAPB stand with Devin Johnson and his family, and ask that the community support them through this trauma that will alter their faith in our public safety systems forever. To be brutalized on the street and then have your character assassinated is traumatizing. The sad truth is, Devin’s experience is one we see repeatedly here in Ohio, where police feel entitled to persecute and brutalize communities daily, with little recourse for accountability or relief.

We demand Justice for Devin and ask that you donate to the Johnsons at Mekaj2973 on cashapp to support them through the road ahead. You can also send a letter to Ohio lawmakers demanding they instate true accountable policing mechanisms here.

Ohio Families Unite for Political Action and Change