Protesters seize on death of Ohio woman, 22, despite questions

COLUMBUS, Ohio - Protesters have seized on the death of a recent college graduate in Ohio in their fight against excessive force by police, though how the woman died remains undetermined.

Sarah Grossman, 22, of Dayton, died May 30 after participating in Columbus demonstrations over the death of George Floyd. An early theory that tear gas or pepper spray used during those confrontations prompted or contributed to Grossman’s death went viral under the hashtag #forsarah, though her family has said that is premature.

Montgomery County Coroner Kent Harshbarger said Grossman died at Sycamore Hospital near Dayton. He said an autopsy will take about eight weeks.

The city of Columbus said it was aware of the social media posts about Grossman’s death and was looking into it. An online petition seeks charges against Columbus police officers.

Stauf’s Coffee Roasters, where Grossman worked, tweeted: “As a peaceful protestor this weekend, she stood up to end police brutality and was tear gassed as a result. Her death came in the aftermath, but her legacy stands even stronger. Stauf’s is working diligently on plans to honor her and the other peaceful organizers risking their lives in pursuit of justice.”

Grossman graduated from Ohio State University on May 3 with a bachelor of science in environmental and natural resources.