In Columbus, Ohio, a group of police officers packed up their tear gas canisters, shields and stun guns to head off to “riot training” and apparently wound up on the set of a Police Academy movie.
In a comedy of errors, a day that was meant to be filled with activities pertaining to learning the most effective ways to crack down on protesters was instead mired with ineptitude from beginning till end.
First, while traveling to the training site, three squad cars filled with police academy recruits managed to run into one another until all three were totaled.
According to local news station 10TV, a convoy of cop cars ended in a pile up when the first car slammed on its brakes while driving down the road, causing the two subsequent vehicles to slam into it. Thankfully no one was hurt, but the cars were not so lucky. The reporters managed to capture a glimpse of devastation.
No film was taken of the crash, but one has to imagine that it looked a lot like this:
Undeterred, the officers hopped into other vehicles, headed towards the riot training and into the police incompetence record books.
After arriving at Cooper Stadium, the officers began firing tear gas canisters around the area to get better acquainted with how to one day use said tear gas on people, say, protesting police abuse. In their eagerness to gas the living daylights out of the stadium, they released more than a dozen canisters… the gas then floating directly into a nearby elementary school.
When an invisible chemical cloud of tear gas came drifting over the school, parents who were alerted to the threat came rushing to get their kids.
“I was so scared when I heard there was tear gas going around the school, immediately I stopped what I was doing and come pick up my son,” says Musa Ente whose son attends the school.
As many as 14 children complained of irritated noses and throats. A pregnant teacher was taken to the hospital as a precaution.
The Columbus Police Department later apologized. You know, for the whole gassing school children thing.
“We thought we were certainly out of the range where we would have any impact,” says Deputy Chief Tim Becker
“We are very apologetic for what happened. We will do whatever it takes to make sure this never happens again,” said Deputy Chief Becker.
They should consider taking their antics out to Hollywood, instead. It’d make a great comedy and no school children would get accidentally gassed.