He is more than 6 feet tall, has dreadlocks and had a gun in his pocket.
That’s why Tonyen Ross believes her son, Joseph Davis Jr., was shot by a Columbus police officer who was working special duty at an East Side bar over the weekend.
“It’s profiling,” Ross said. “He fit the profile of someone who carries.”
Ross, who said her 22-year-old son didn’t reach for his gun or fight with police, would like some answers about why a Columbus police officer shot him. He is expected to make a full recovery after being treated at OhioHealth Grant Medical Center for a gunshot wound in the abdomen.
Police have released few details about the shooting that occurred outside Lucky’s Bar and Grill, 2600 S. Hamilton Rd., at 2:15 a.m. on Sunday.
On Monday, police identified Officer Emanuel Woods, 30, who has been with the Police Division since July 2012, as the officer who shot Davis.
Both Woods and Davis are black.
Jason Pappas, president of the Fraternal Order of Police Capital City Lodge No. 9, went to the shooting scene that night. And though he said he doesn’t know the investigative details of the case, he believes Woods acted within legal and departmental policy.
“I am confident that a review of the shooting will show that the officer was right from beginning to the end,” Pappas said.
Davis’ mother said that if Woods thought her son was a thug, he profiled the wrong guy.
Joseph Davis, of Whitehall, has no felony record, she noted, and is licensed to carry a concealed weapon. She said he wasn’t drunk or high that night. She said her son goes to church and helps take care of a grandmother who has Alzheimer’s disease.
According to police, Davis and another man were in Davis’ car, in the parking lot of Lucky’s Bar and Grill, when Woods and another officer approached the vehicle because it was playing “loud music.” An “altercation” occurred between officers and the man, who had a gun, according to police.
Police haven’t officially released Davis’ name because he hasn’t been charged with a crime, though Ross confirmed it was Davis.
Pappas said he understands the officer fired because the man with the gun made a “gesture” that was considered to be threatening.
Ross said she has talked with her son and the other man who was in the Chevy Impala. They gave this account:
It was chaotic in the bar’s parking lot because people were trying to leave and a fight had broken out among some women who were near the parked Impala. Davis was trying to drive off and honked his horn.
The police officer approached the passenger’s side of Davis’ car, where the window was down. He turned a flashlight beam on them and Davis’ gun was visible in his pocket.
Davis told his mother that he looked down at the gun, then both he and his passenger raised their hands.
The officer then fired inside the car, hitting Davis. He was then pulled out of the driver’s seat, put on the ground and handcuffed.
Ross said her family has retained an attorney.
Officers involved in shootings are given time off while an internal investigation reviews the shooting.