Columbus police under investigation after video shows response to reported sexual manipulation of 11-year-old

COLUMBUS, Ohio − Two Columbus police officers are being investigated over their response to a call for service regarding sexual misconduct involving a child after a video of the incident went viral on TikTok.

The doorbell camera video, which began circulating on social media on Sunday, is captioned: "My daughter was a victim [of] a online predator. She's 11 he's a grown man. He manipulated her into sending pictures of herself. This was the police response at midnight we called at 6."

In a Monday statement released on social media, the Columbus Division of Police confirmed the video showed city police officers and announced the Columbus Department of the Inspector General had opened an inquiry.

“The Columbus Division of Police acknowledges a video being shared on social media involving two officers responding to a call for service," according to the statement. "The Division of Police regards all allegations of sexual misconduct with the utmost seriousness. Incidents involving minors are handled with the highest degree of concern. Sexual Assault Unit detectives were immediately notified of the incident and have since initiated an investigation."

Video shows encounter between officers, man

In the video, a male and female officer are shown walking up to the front porch of a residence and knocking on the door. The officers wait for someone to answer the door on the porch. About a minute in, a man exits the house and speaks to the officers.

"She's in bed now," the man said. The audio is briefly inaudible as he opens the door.

"It still happened, though, right?" the female officer said.

"Yeah, yeah, yeah, the whole point, I just wanted you guys to come over and talk to her," the man said. "I just want her to realize what this was. I mean, reality is not much I probably can do about it, is there?"

"I mean, she can probably get charged with child porn," the female officer replied.

"Who, she can?" the man said. "She's 11 years old."

"She's creating it, right?" the female officer said.

The man repeats himself: "She's 11 years old."

"Doesn't matter. She's still making porn."

"No, she's not," the man said. "She's being manipulated by a grown (expletive) adult on the internet."

"Is she taking pictures, though?"

The man dismisses the officers: "You guys have a nice evening," and starts to head inside the house. "Thank you for coming."

He turns to say something else. "Are you serious? Have a nice evening."

The two officers then leave the residence.

The video has nearly 700,000 views on TikTok as of Tuesday morning.

Disciplinary action would be reviewed by civilian review board

The Dispatch requested comment from the city Department of the Inspector General on Monday.

The process for any disciplinary action, if taken, will involve the Inspector General's Office reviewing the complaint and doing an investigation, which will then be reviewed by the Columbus Civilian Police Review Board.

The Civilian Police Review Board can then offer disciplinary suggestions, but those decisions are ultimately left up to Columbus Police Chief Elaine Bryant.

Users online at first incorrectly believed the officers in the video were from the Marysville Division of Police, and police in that Union County city came under heavy criticism on social media. Marysville Police Chief Tony Brooks told the Columbus Dispatch, part of the USA TODAY Network, the department is "aware of the TikTok video, but the officers seen in the video are not Marysville (Ohio) PD officers. We do not know where this took place, but are certain it was not in Marysville, Ohio."

Dispatch reporter Bethany Bruner contributed to this story.


This article originally appeared on The Columbus Dispatch: Columbus police probed for reply to 11-year-old's alleged online abuse