FBI determines ‘suspicious’ water bottles from Columbia protests were harmless

FBI determines ‘suspicious’ water bottles from Columbia protests were harmless
At the time, CPD and RCSD said the water bottles were a sign that protesters wanted to hurt officers. (Source: RCSD/ CPD)

COLUMBIA, S.C. (WIS) - When protests erupted in Columbia in late May and early June, the Police Department came out with a report of “suspicious” water bottles at protests.

Officers said water bottles with a milky white substance inside them were thrown at police and left behind at protests. A field test showed the substance in the bottles could burn one’s skin, police said.

CPD and RCSD said the water bottles were a sign that protesters wanted to hurt officers.

“I can tell you that the bottles we came in contact with were caustic to personnel, meaning they can burn somebody. If you came already with these bottles with that solution in them, you had no intent to be peaceful,” a RCSD spokeswoman said at the time.

Turns out, the bottles just contained water and a liquid antacid, according to the FBI.

The findings of the FBI’s investigation line up with what protesters said at the time -- that the bottles were harmless and contained a mixture used to help people who have been tear gassed.

Protesters specifically said it was water and baking soda, which can be used as an antacid.

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