An Ohio State University grad died shortly after getting sprayed with tear gas at a Columbus rally protesting the death of George Floyd, prompting the city to open an investigation into her sudden death.
Sarah Grossman, a recent graduate of OSU, was calling for justice in the killing of Floyd in the downtown area last month when authorities allegedly unleashed chemical agents to clear out the crowd. It was among scores of protests unfolding nationwide over the in-custody killing of 46-year-old Floyd, who died in Minneapolis on Memorial day after a police officer knelt down on his neck until he was unresponsive.
Grossman was identified on social media shortly after her death last month, NBC 4.
“We have seen social media reports of a young woman passing away as the result of being sprayed during a protest in Columbus. What we know right now is that @ColsFire does not have a record of an EMT transport to any Columbus-area hospitals,” the City of Columbus said in a tweet late Thursday night.
“The Montgomery County Coroner’s office is handling her autopsy. We will continue to look into any possible Columbus connection.”
I know that today is black out Tuesday and in honor of that, i want to talk about my best friend. As some of you know, on 5/30 we lost one of the most kindest, beautiful souls, my sister Sarah. If you had ever met Sarah, you know that she impacted every persons life that she touched. She never cared about what anyone thought of her, only caring about helping others. She had just graduated from OSU with a major in environmental sciences and Spanish. Her plans were to first finish classes in Argentina and then go to the border of Mexico to help the children there, followed by moving to Guatemala to have a sustainable farm. She has been my rock, my biggest inspiration and role model, and most importantly the best friend I have ever had. I promise to carry on her legacy and finish the things she was starting. I will always love you and no day will go by where I don’t think about you with love from your little sister. For those of you asking about donations, my family and I would love for you to donate to one of the organizations she was fighting for the most. These include the Rainforest Alliance (in bio) as well as the Columbus Freedom Fund ( https://columbusfreepress.com/article/give-bail-fundfreedom-fund-arrested- demonstrators) . Thank you all for the love and support. I will never stop fighting. #forsarah
A post shared by jay♊️🌱🍄🌖 (@jessagrossman) on Jun 2, 2020 at 11:37am PDT
The Montgomery County Coroner’s office confirmed to NBC 4 that it would be handling Grossman’s autopsy, which will take about eight weeks to complete. They said she died on May 30 at Sycamore Hospital.
In an Instagram post earlier this week, Jessa Grossman — who identified herself as Sarah’s sister — mourned the loss of her “best friend.”
“As some of you know, on 5/30 we lost one of the most kindest, beautiful souls, my sister Sarah. If you had ever met Sarah, you know that she impacted every persons life that she touched," she wrote.
"She never cared about what anyone thought of her, only caring about helping others.”
Stauf’s Coffee Roasters, where the 22-year-old Environmental science and Spanish major had worked, also honored her with a social media tribute calling her a " brave individual” they were all lucky to know.
“At Stauf’s, Sarah was known for her devotion to keeping the workplace green by implementing environmentally-friendly practices on and off the clock,” the Facebook post reads.
“Outside of the store, she fought even harder for issues she cared about, including the Rainforest Alliance, and the Black Lives Matter movement. 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.”