WASHINGTON — Police maced several elderly protesters Tuesday at JPMorgan Chase’s annual shareholder meeting in Columbus, Ohio, according to activists present at the event.
Hundreds of people from dozens of community organizing groups swarmed the Tuesday meeting to demand the company overhaul its widely criticized foreclosure policies. JPMorgan Chase has improperly broken into the homes of its borrowers in order to pursue foreclosures and has been accused of robo-signing thousands of key foreclosure documents. Federal regulators slapped the company with a consent order over foreclosure problems earlier this year, and the federal government is currently contemplating filing charges that the company defrauded taxpayers with its foreclosure policies on government-backed loans.
In telephone interviews with HuffPost, multiple protesters complained of an overly aggressive police presence.
George Goehl, Executive Director of National People’s Action, which helped organize the protest, said he and several elderly protesters were maced as police attempted to move protesters back from the building.
“There must have been 10 police for every banker,” Goehl told HuffPost. “JPMorgan Chase, they don’t only own the government. They own the Columbus police department.”
The Columbus Department of Police did not respond to phone calls for comment on this story.
“It was insane,” said Robin Acree, Executive Director of Grass Roots Organizing, a social justice group based in Missouri, who said she was still in pain several hours after the protest from being maced.